Police go door-to-door in hunt for New Forest sportive saboteurs

National Park and councillors condemn locals "taking the law into their own hands"

by John Stevenson   April 15, 2014  

Hampshire Constabulary Tactical Cycle Team (CC licensed image by JD Mack:Flickr)

Police investigating Saturday’s sabotage attempt at the Wiggle New Forest Spring Sportive are carrying out door-to-door enquiries in their search for the culprit or culprits.

Nails were scattered on the event route where it passed through the village of Bransgore, causing punctures to 15 riders’ bikes, but no injuries, according to the Daily Echo’s Michael Carr.

A rider was reportedly injured last year after sharp objects were scattered on the route of the Wiggle New Forest Spring Sportive. The victim was a local man riding to work, not a sportive particpant, who broke his collarbone after crashing because of a puncture caused by a tack.

It seems police are taking the latest incident very seriously, attempting to trace the saboteurs via house-to-house enquiries.

Bransgore Parish Council chairman Richard Frampton said: “I know there’s been sensitivity over these events, partly because of the numbers, but there’s no excuse for anyone to take the law into their own hands.

“If there are genuine concerns they should go through the proper channels and be looked at in the correct way.”

Cllr Frampton said any genuine arguments against mass cycling events in the Forest were being undermined by people taking illegal action.

A New Forest National Park Authority (NPA) said: “There can be no justification for acts that may cause accident or injury.

“The event was closely monitored and while we’ve heard reports that the behaviour of a minority of cyclists was unsatisfactory, the large majority behaved well and followed the New Forest Cycling Code, which encourages responsible cycling.”

27 user comments

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Love one reader's comment on the Daily Echo article

It's not like a 1000 Hells Angels are descending on Lyndhurst and burning it to the ground.

posted by Gashead [29 posts]
15th April 2014 - 12:56

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Where is the information about door to door police enquiries coming from? I can't see any police statements in your story or in the Daily Echo article.

posted by gimrie [7 posts]
15th April 2014 - 13:19

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I wonder who they will pin this on... D Oh

Leodis's picture

posted by Leodis [188 posts]
15th April 2014 - 13:26

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Bloody Road Tacks

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posted by andylul [412 posts]
15th April 2014 - 13:28

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We know there's not a great hope of finding those responsible this time, but good to see the Police making an effort.

Though I suspect they're more annoyed about someone taking the law (their idea of it...) into their own hands. That will often piss the Police off much more than the specific offence itself.

posted by bikebot [485 posts]
15th April 2014 - 13:40

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Leodis wrote:
I wonder who they will pin this on... D Oh

Whoever he or she is. They'll needle a good lawyer.

I'll get my coat.....

posted by Dapper Giles [47 posts]
15th April 2014 - 14:19

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The Police need to get to the point and use the right tacktics to pin the blame on the offender, after all its a pointless exercise if they dont nail the offenders.

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2697 posts]
15th April 2014 - 14:34

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There'll be hammering the overtime looking for the nefarious ne'er do wells.

posted by allez neg [4 posts]
15th April 2014 - 14:37

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This type of activity is as futile as it is dangerous; a rider or perhaps livestock could have been injured. One of the participants or perhaps the event's organiser ought to contact Mrs. Sevier (she of poster campaign fame) and invite her, as someone concerned with road safety and animal welfare, to use her "good offices" to identify those responsible and condemn such behaviour. If she's really concerned about the area in which she lives she'll respond positively, if not...

posted by jonathanfmcgarry [12 posts]
15th April 2014 - 14:47

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Did they ever find the idiot who sabotaged the Etape Caledonia a few years back? No? Forgive me if I don't hold my breath.

However. If more is made of the possible injury to dumb animals rather than inconvenience to law-abiding cyclists then there might be a more promising outcome. Devil

posted by levermonkey [356 posts]
15th April 2014 - 15:20

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At least they're taking it a little more seriously than last year...

Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

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posted by jmaccelari [150 posts]
15th April 2014 - 15:48

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You know I'm sure that this will wok, after all it will be really obvious who it was. They'll open the door in a 'dath to cyclists' t-shirt holding a big box of nails labeled - anti-cyclist shrapnel'/ Of course, there won't be enough evidence to prosecute but they might just get a bit of an earbashing from the terribly annoyed police who will be looking to do whatever they can to protect future events from such wanton acts of stupidity

posted by md6 [156 posts]
15th April 2014 - 16:02

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levermonkey wrote:
Did they ever find the idiot who sabotaged the Etape Caledonia a few years back? No? Forgive me if I don't hold my breath.

However. If more is made of the possible injury to dumb animals rather than inconvenience to law-abiding cyclists then there might be a more promising outcome. Devil

Maybe they have a pretty good idea who it was.

http://road.cc/content/news/4410-solicitor-charged-connection-alleged-et...

Charges were, however, dropped later on.

Ride more, ride better

posted by Sniffer [126 posts]
15th April 2014 - 16:14

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plod - excuse me sir/madam but did you put tacks on the road
muppet- yes.....errrr I mean no!!!!

posted by mrchrispy [285 posts]
15th April 2014 - 16:25

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Sniffer wrote:
levermonkey wrote:
Did they ever find the idiot who sabotaged the Etape Caledonia a few years back? No? Forgive me if I don't hold my breath.

However. If more is made of the possible injury to dumb animals rather than inconvenience to law-abiding cyclists then there might be a more promising outcome. Devil

Maybe they have a pretty good idea who it was.

http://road.cc/content/news/4410-solicitor-charged-connection-alleged-et...

Charges were, however, dropped later on.


Maybe they should search his computer to see if he drew up the anti-ride posters put up last week.

Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

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posted by jmaccelari [150 posts]
15th April 2014 - 16:26

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Quote "Bransgore Parish Council chairman Richard Frampton said: “I know there’s been sensitivity over these events, partly because of the numbers, but there’s no excuse for anyone to take the law into their own hands." End Quote

They are not taking the law into their own hands. There is no law against cycling in the New Forest.

They are commiting a criminal offence, putting at risk the lives of members of the public and the wellbeing of livestock.

It was a premeditated act, the only purpose of which was to cause damage to private property in the knowledge that injury might occur.

I would also assume that the perpetrator(s) are not from Bransgore. Unless they really that stupid or arrogant, they probably come from further afield.

Did Nightrider 2013 for Parkinson's UK, doing it again this year just for the fun of it and to raise more money.

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posted by jova54 [599 posts]
15th April 2014 - 16:41

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"taking the law into their own hands"

What - is scattering nails and tacks on road surfaces now police work?

posted by congokid [114 posts]
15th April 2014 - 17:13

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mrchrispy wrote:

plod - excuse me sir/madam but did you put tacks on the road
muppet- yes.....errrr I mean no!!!!

Ah.. how about the undercover approach.

plod - excuse me sir/madam, we're putting up some posters in the area to warn the public about dangerous cyclists speeding about all over the place like maniacs. Unfortunately, we've run out of tacts to pin them up, I don't suppose you would have bought a box of them recently that we could use?

posted by bikebot [485 posts]
15th April 2014 - 18:19

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jmaccelari wrote:
Sniffer wrote:
levermonkey wrote:
Did they ever find the idiot who sabotaged the Etape Caledonia a few years back? No? Forgive me if I don't hold my breath.

However. If more is made of the possible injury to dumb animals rather than inconvenience to law-abiding cyclists then there might be a more promising outcome. Devil

Maybe they have a pretty good idea who it was.

http://road.cc/content/news/4410-solicitor-charged-connection-alleged-et...

Charges were, however, dropped later on.


Maybe they should search his computer to see if he drew up the anti-ride posters put up last week.

Ann Sevier made it clear to me in her email that she printed them and stuck them to trees. Maybe they should start with her...

Confused

Extra bike? What extra bike dear?

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posted by goggy [89 posts]
15th April 2014 - 18:41

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In the past the Police Federation have vigorously supported cyclists rights ....

posted by simon.thornton [13 posts]
15th April 2014 - 19:24

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Perhaps with Easter weekend coming up and thousands of cars clogging the New Forest roads we should get out there with some stingers (only kidding). I wonder what the Bransgore locals would make of their roads clogged up with stranded cars waiting for all four wheels to be changed.

But if the fuzz nail the perpertrator maybe they'll spend some time with the screws.

posted by Tony [66 posts]
15th April 2014 - 19:54

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PR from the police. A statement that they are watching. And a notice to some of the local loudmouths to wind their necks in. Also a good opener for a chat when the Chief Constable meets some of the local councillors. It flags up the damage that these acts do to the reputation of the Forest. The message is clear enough to me. The powers that be. The real powers have had enough of the antics of some of these parish councillors.

Cycling is like a church - many attend, but few understand.

posted by oozaveared [559 posts]
15th April 2014 - 23:57

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Being a pedant, using the term "taking the law into their own hands" implies that these saboteurs were doing something that someone else (like the police) had failed to do - i.e. stop lawbreaking - when in fact it is the exact opposite. The saboteurs are the ones breaking the law by attemptign to cause damage and potential injury to people going about their perfectly legal and legitimate activity.

Having done the Surrey-London100 last year, I can say there were a few protesters out but the vast majority of people were hugely supportive, and it's probably similar in the New Forest. We shouldn't let the actions of a tiny minority of small minded, petty NIMBYs get so much exposure or suggest they have any kind of legitimacy.

posted by Paul99 [17 posts]
16th April 2014 - 9:04

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DNA samples in the village have been taken, it turns out they are all related.

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posted by Leodis [188 posts]
16th April 2014 - 10:34

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Laughing

posted by clayfit [24 posts]
16th April 2014 - 11:18

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Have the pins from the road been compared to the ones used to pin the posters up? Thinking

posted by David Portland [88 posts]
16th April 2014 - 14:35

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I did a sportive recently and there was a lady standing at a junction. As a friend in front shouted "Clear!" she started ranting... "Every weekend!! Riders shouting on this junction EVERY WEEKEND. IT HAS RUINED MY LIFE At Wits End At Wits End At Wits End "
I wasn't quite sure what to say so just said "have a great weekend" and carried on.

Not sure what could be done to avoid this? Did make me chuckle though. Rather a lot.

posted by faz. [24 posts]
16th April 2014 - 19:34

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