Police in Cambridge have appealed for witnesses after a man pushed a 12-year-old girl who was riding on the pavement off her bike, causing her to fall into the road. The girl was unharmed, but police say the incident could have been more serious as a car was approaching at the time.
The incident happened between noon and 1pm last Thursday 17 August on High Street, Trumpington, near a Shell petrol station.
According to Cambridgeshire Constabulary, the man shouted at the girl about cycling on the pavement and as she rode past him, he put out his arm, knocking her off her bike.
The suspect is described as having short blond or grey hair and was wearing jeans, Ugg trainers and a black jacket, possibly from the Superdry brand.
Detective Sergeant James Bowen said: “This incident could have been more serious as a black Ford Fiesta was passing by at the time and the victim fell close to it.
“Fortunately she did not suffer serious injuries.
“I would appeal for anyone who saw it happen to come forward.”
Anyone who has information is asked to call police on 101, quoting incident 535 of August 17. Alternatively, information can be given to police online, or by contacting the charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111 or via its website.
While it is an offence to cycle on the pavement, Home Office guidance first issued in 1999, reiterated three years ago by former transport minister Robert Goodwill and endorsed by the Association of Chief Police Officers is that police should use their discretion in fining people.
The guidance says:
“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.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.