Email to plod

Cab

New Member
Location
Cambridge
We have an 'ecops' thing here, where your beat bobbies keep in touch by email, update you on what to look out for, etc. Often they mention cycling, and specifically they sent an email round which touched on the fact that they're going to be handing out more fixed penalty notices for pavement riding, riding without lights, etc. They've been advising cyclists not to do it, they're planning to get a bit more harsh. I sent this response, which they have taken well and said "thanks, we'll take that into account", and they seem quite genuine about it.

So heres what I sent them, worth sharing 'cos I think thats a positive outcome:

Dear Ecops,

Thanks for the continuing updates, it is always good to see what you've been up to, and reassuring to know that you're on the job.

Regarding your recent update where you mentioned cycling on the pavement and without lights, I'd just like to remind you about what Paul Boateng wrote about this when he introduced fixed penalty notices for these offenses:

"The introduction of the fixed penalty is not aimed at responsible cyclists who sometimes feel obliged to use the pavement out of fear of traffic and who show consideration to other pavement users when doing so. Chief police officers, who are responsible for enforcement, acknowledge that many cyclists, particularly children and young people, are afraid to cycle on the road, sensitivity and careful use of police discretion is required.'

While I absolutely agree with what you're doing within the context of stopping cyclists riding dangerously or antisocially, I'd like to hope that you'll continue to use your discretion when it comes to fining cyclists. So, for example, if you walk down Arbury Road at night and see the speed that some of the motorists travel, you might appreciate why some cyclists feel intimidated off the road. And when you walk around some of the pedestrian areas in and around Kings Hedges, looking carefully at the signs to work out where you're allowed to cycle, I'm sure you'll appreciate that it can be very hard to determine just where you can and can't ride. Remember, at this time of year Cambridge has a lot of very inexperienced cyclists on the road, and they are just the kind of riders who need to know how to use our roads safely so that they're not intimidated onto the pavements. Fining them will probably just encourage them off their bikes entirely, which I'm sure you'll agreee is counterproductive.

May I ask, have you been giving the cyclists you've been stopping on the pavement advice on safe road positioning (i.e. correct use of primary and secondary positions as appropriate) and guidance on how to handle some of the busier, more difficult roads to avoid intimidation? In my opinion, the more responsible cyclists we have out on our roads setting a good example, the more the inexperienced/bad cyclists will take notice and do likewise. For guidance, see the HMSO publication 'Cyclecraft' (http://www.cyclecraft.co.uk/)

Hope this doesn't come across as being too ranty,

Yours,
 
They should issue fixed penalty notices for Peds with no brains.They'd be quids in.
 

spen666

Guru
User said:
An excellent e-mail Cab. Perhaps you could offer to go out with some of the officers for a few hours to help them understand what's going on from a cyclists perspective?

The police farce won't allow that as its too dangerous for their officers to be out of the station let alone riding bikes
 
OP
Cab

Cab

New Member
Location
Cambridge
spen666 said:
The police farce won't allow that as its too dangerous for their officers to be out of the station let alone riding bikes
We see plod on bikes (PCs and PCSOs) all of the time. But I doubt whether they'd agree to any tuition.
 
Nice one Cab. Did they send a formal reply, i.e. can we see it?
 
OP
Cab

Cab

New Member
Location
Cambridge
magnatom said:
Nice one Cab. Did they send a formal reply, i.e. can we see it?
A polite short response:

Many thanks for that. We will take into account your thoughts.
As they local PCs and PCSOs are a good bunch, I'm taking this at face value, i.e. they will take it into account. Can't ask for fairer than that really.
 
Cab said:
Many thanks for that. We will take into account your thoughts.
Sounds a bit like a fob off to me. However, you obviously know who you are dealing with and understand the local situation better, so you are probably right.
 
OP
Cab

Cab

New Member
Location
Cambridge
magnatom said:
Sounds a bit like a fob off to me. However, you obviously know who you are dealing with and understand the local situation better, so you are probably right.
Naah, they wouldn't bother fobbing off. They'd just not reply. Talking to our local plod, they get all sorts of things emailed to them, and while they do their best they certainly don't manage to keep on top of their email communications. So if they've read and replied with 'yeah, we'll keep it in mind' then I rekon that they will. They're a good bunch, and they've always been genuine enough in the past.
 
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