CYCLISTS: Inspector – ‘It’s a matter of balancing priorities’

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Have your say

I am writing with regard to your correspondence from Mr Tippler (last week’s Spalding Guardian).

I was present throughout last week’s event in The Sheepmarket, so it’s a shame Mr Tippler didn’t find me to chat to about his concerns.

As the senior officer for community policing in South Holland, I would have been more than happy to explain my policy regarding cyclists.

Mr Tippler has asked for a policy statement regarding cycling on the pavement. I did write on this subject in recent weeks (Spalding Guardian, July 19), but it’s possible I didn’t make myself clear enough.

With our current resources, I have to consider carefully what areas we prioritise. Our current priorities are burglaries in the Spalding estates, anti-social behaviour in Ayscoughfee Gardens and The Vista, street drinkers within the DPPO, speeding motorists in Holbeach and Long Sutton and anti-social behaviour in Sutton Bridge.

My job is to ensure that we commit resources to these priorities while still providing a service for urgent and non-urgent incidents.

I have no current plans for enforcement days targeting inconsiderate cyclists, because I have to prioritise the tasks for my limited resources.

Let me stress: it is not that I don’t want us to deal with cyclists – it is a matter of balancing the priorities from across South Holland.

To put in place an operation to target cyclists would be at the expense of one of the other current priorities.

Which priority should I remove from the list in order to concentrate on cyclists? Who decides which issues are priorities? The best way of influencing the policing priorities in your area is to join your local Community Policing Panel.

These panels, made up of members of our local communities, set local priorities for local officers.

We will continue to deal with errant cyclists, but only in the same way that we deal with other road users. While I am not currently tasking my officers with specific road safety operations, every officer knows my expectation that all officers who come across illegal cycling or driving deal with that issue as part of their routine police work.

I do understand that this is not a message that Mr Tippler, or other readers, will want to read, but I would rather be honest about my current intentions than offer bland platitudes or to promise increased patrols that won’t materialise. What I will promise is that my decision is under constant review and if I am able to release officers to specifically carry out an enforcement operation, then I will.

I would urge Mr Tippler to read the full article of July 19, as it explains my decision-making in more detail.

Jim Tyner

Community Policing Inspector

South Holland