Thank you to Policing Inspector Jim Tyner for his reply (Spalding Guardian, August 28) to my letter expressing the need for a statement on police policy regarding cycling on footways; and I am sorry I missed his earlier article on the same subject.
It’s welcome that Inspector Tyner is honest about his current intentions: I didn’t ask him to “offer bland platitudes or to promise increased patrols that won’t materialise”, and should have thought less of him if he had.
The cycling situation is still not acceptable, but his straightforward answer is that there are not currently the resources to deal with it. That confirms the suspicion I aired in my letter.
So it comes to what I described as the political dimension: the undermanning of the force and the lack of adequate provision of cycleways.
The latter has never been tackled with sufficient vigour, even when local authorities were under less pressure from central government. Is it too much to ask now for, at least, the development of a plan to uplift the cycleway provision progressively as resources become available? A plan which could be put on the table for public inspection and comment.
We need the provision to be coherent and well done. One of the things which would help the economy to tick a bit more solidly, would be to put a little more investment into this aspect of the infrastructure, even if spread over some years.
And then there’s the undermanning of the force. The Home Secretary believes the police can manage with even fewer resources than they have now. If this locality is anything to go by, she’s wrong. I wonder if she personally has ever tried planning the application of the resources available so as to secure adequate maintenance of the law in a particular local area.
Mr Hardwick, our local police and crime commissioner, expects further cuts and says Lincolnshire Police are well prepared for the possibility. He sounds a bit complacent. What does he mean by ‘well prepared’? How vigorously has he represented the police’s needs to the Home Office? What is his attitude to the increased lawlessness of too many cyclists?
Finally, it is heartening to hear of a reduction in local anti-social behaviour as a result of police activity, but don’t let us bask: there’s more to do. As a society, we need to support the police by a more material contribution than just warm words.