Police Blitz, London
Rather than get lost in the myriad of comments in the news item, I thought I would share a memory here about a similar blitz that was held in Australia a few years back....well in the mid 1990's, but it wasn't about the lycra cyclist, it was related to the leather clad riders on Motorbikes.
So the problem was that there were way to many bikers getting killed, mostly probably the bikers fault in this case due to speed, lack of skills, lack of protective clothing. So they tried to run a campaign where police were "randomly" pulling over bikers to talk about safety and give advice, but what was happening was the police were pulling over nearly every motorbike they saw, issuing fines and giving the bikers a hard time, what the public saw was lots of police pulling over bikers, so you can imagine what that did for the public perception.
Anyway, move on a few months, some bright spark had come up with a plan that had police officers that were also motorbike riders do the blitz, and not on police bikes, but in the police uniform, then rather than give everyone a hard time they would pull them up or flag them down, have a chat, if there were any defects, rather than give a fine they told them to present the bike at the local station in 7 days for inspection...and it was all quite friendly.
I know this because I was stopped in both cases, the first time I was pulled over into an inspection bay, there were 3 police cars there and a police flat top 1/2 loaded with bikes, there was nothing wrong with my bike but when I was pulled over I was told the police were targeting bikers that were breaking the law, they asked me all the usual irrelevant questions, and sent me off. The second time I was waved in, 2 cops in uniform, 2 "civvi" bikes and that was it, they told me they were doing licence and safety checks, and talking to bikers about safety and offering advice, they looked over my bike, all was fine, but one of them noticed my forks were a bit squishy and said I should get them looked at, and that was it...much nicer attitude and it gave me new found respect for the police.
So whats my point?
if the Met gets the police that are actual cyclist in their spare time out there talking to cyclist...even maybe Rapha will design some trendy uniform for them so they stand out...kind of the "Gamekeeper, turned Gamekeeper that maybe a weekend poacher" you may just see a little more respect from the cyclist on the road, and perhaps this will have some impact..... being a cyclist the copper will know the dangers, and know how to put it in the right language, a brilliant example is the person pulled over last week that was waring a helmet, had lights excreta, but was told she should have a hi viz vest on just incase a driver forgot to put there glasses on....the cyclist copper may well have said... have you thought about hi viz, because the car drivers are in there own world, and the more you can do to be seen, the safer you may be...etcetera
Maybe Im crazy, maybe my thoughts are inspired?