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YouTube footage shows van driver assaulting cyclist - but police say Home Offices guidelines leave them powerless to act

A driver who assaulted a cyclist during a road rage incident will not be charged with an offence by West Midlands Police due to Home Office guidelines – despite the episode being caught on video and bearing strong similarities to one in south east London in 2011 which resulted in charges being brought and a conviction secured after footage was posted to road.cc.

Helmet-cam footage of the latest incident was posted to YouTube by the victim under the user name BlackCountryBikeCam, but was subsequently taken down, possibly as a result of a complaint from the van driver involved, reports BikeBiz. However, the video was mirrored by other users, who have reposted it.

The white van involved, registration number FP07KJN, can first be seen around 10 seconds in, pulling out of a yard, with the rider moving past it on the inside then ahead of it to get around a car that is being parked, although the queue of traffic ahead means that that manoeuvre would not have held up the van.

The rider, who is also on Twitter under the user name CCStev, said that he showed the footage to police, but they told him that Home Office rules meant they were unable to press charges, because the driver, after being made aware of the video, admitted his guilt, and had no previous convictions.

While the police insist their hands are tied, the cyclist is said to have been unhappy with the alternative provided – that he seek a “local resolution” with the motorist, although it is a course of action he has reluctantly accepted.

The van is operated by a Birmingham-based pet business, Weird and Wonderful of Birmingham, which has deleted its Facebook and Twitter accounts as a result of the complaints it was receiving from cyclists, as well as disabling the online feedback form on its website. An email from BikeBiz has gone unanswered.

According to CCStev, “The driver was not charged. He was brought in for interview and initially claimed provocation, that I kicked his van and kicked him in the chest.

“He changed his story when told there was video evidence. He still claimed I kicked him and the van and only after the officer pointed out that she couldn't see any of that, on his solicitor's advice he finally accepted full responsibility.

"Because he had no police record and admitted to the offence, under the ridiculous scoring system imposed on the police he was eligible for a caution.

“As the victim I was given the choice of the driver receiving a caution or I could accept a local resolution, the terms of which that I would receive an amount in compensation and a written apology. I'm far from happy about it but reluctantly accepted the resolution.

“I don't think the police are to blame but the decisions made by Government departments that govern them.

“This was a violent, unprovoked attack that has no place in society and I'm very disappointed and angry that the driver will not face criminal consequences."

In February, national cyclists’ organisation CTC launched a campaign urging cyclists to write to their local Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) asking them to make road safety a priority in their policing plans.

However, as this incident shows, Home Office red tape can mean that the hands of the police are tied.

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.

102 comments

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Dog72 [106 posts] 3 years ago
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I'd love to meet him and have a chat

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bashthebox [751 posts] 3 years ago
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Some people are dangerously insane. That's just not what a sane person does, is it? Jump out of his vehicle, twice, in order to punch someone going about their business? Quite clearly, ignoring any politics of the road, that van driver is unstable and therefore a dangerous menace. At the very least, he needs some sort of counselling to sort out his issues and reduce his dancer to society. And why he can't be given an appropriate punishment is ludicrous.

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WolfieSmith [1323 posts] 3 years ago
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Short bloke with muscles. Classic Roid rage. Lot's of them out there.

Remember if this happens to you - your bike is your shield. Stand your ground. No one likes a oily chain set in the face

I heard a story about a Peak District training run where a Range Rover came too close to the group and the driver stopped and got out for some argy bargy. A recently retired pro of huge experience pulled his bike upright ( apparently to turn it around and flee..) and some how managed to hit the driver between the eyes with his front wheel! The driver took to inspecting the adjacent ditch, apologies were made, and the cyclists continued on their way..  3

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miuzikboy [59 posts] 3 years ago
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all we need is a name...

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richardvaltos [18 posts] 3 years ago
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I suspect the police interpretation is wrong. He should pursue civil proceedings. The video is damning. Blaming it on home office "red tape" sounds like a classic get out clause. Anyway suspect this guy will get punished by karma eventually. Guidelines are just that not rigid rules. Charge him.

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Timsen [71 posts] 3 years ago
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The guy looks like he's wearing a onesie.... no wonder he has anger management issues !

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AWPeleton [3325 posts] 3 years ago
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No previous convictions mean he is entitled to a caution if he admits the offence, its not mumbo jumbo its what we, as Police officers, have to abide by.

Civil proceedings can still be taken out which is not a Police matter.

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ribena [179 posts] 3 years ago
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What hope do you have if there's no camera?

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colinth [191 posts] 3 years ago
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I have no previous convictions. The next time someone nearly hits me because he's gone through a red light or is driving like an idiot, can I drag him out of his car and punch him ? I'll admit it and won't mind taking a caution ? Can I, please ??

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notfastenough [3685 posts] 3 years ago
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What a tool. I do hope Weird and Wonderful have had enough of the 'feedback'.

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Philiprints [28 posts] 3 years ago
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Agree with ribena-
It's a depressing thought that even this, with video evidence, turns into a wrangle over punishment. Stuff like this just puts me on edge a bit....

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qwerky [184 posts] 3 years ago
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The Home Office issues guidelines, but its still up to the police to decide whether or not to caution. The police also have the option to refer to the CPS for guidance.

Its worth noting that the guidelines state that the victims views must also be taken into consideration.

I call bullshit on the police 'hands are tied' line. Its a great reminder to everyone to get yourself legal representation, which is easy through the CTC or British Cycling.

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tired old fart [77 posts] 3 years ago
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typical "our hands are tied" whynge by one of the pricks in blue

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700c [906 posts] 3 years ago
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So effectively you can get away with assault if you admit to it and it's your first offence..

So the public can have no confidence whatsoever that they will be protected from such violence. 'mumbo jumbo' is not quite the term I'd use to describe this ridiculous rule.

If I was the victim and it was my first offence I'd go for a local resolution, succumb to a spot of road rage, admit guilt and then you'd be all square.

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AWPeleton [3325 posts] 3 years ago
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Seeing some of the comments on here it makes you wonder whether all these drivers are at fault in the first place  39

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tired old fart [77 posts] 3 years ago
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typical cop response go and do your job cop get of the internet and catch someone in the act of assault ride a bike for a week see what it is like you prick stumpy

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sam_everythingvelo [11 posts] 3 years ago
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How is it possible that this guy has not been charged? It's just an excuse hiding behind red tape, surely. The guy is a danger to others and himself.

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Angelfishsolo [132 posts] 3 years ago
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The cyclist made a bad maneuver when he tried to undertake the van. What happened next was a completely unjustified. Exactly what home office guidelines allow someone to kick and punch an individual to the ground? I would love to know??

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Angelfishsolo [132 posts] 3 years ago
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stumps wrote:

No previous convictions mean he is entitled to a caution if he admits the offence, its not mumbo jumbo its what we, as Police officers, have to abide by.

Civil proceedings can still be taken out which is not a Police matter.

What H O guidelines are these?

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tired old fart [77 posts] 3 years ago
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Weird N Wonderful Weird N Wonderful .128, Alcester Rd, Birmingham , B13 8EE
Tel: 0121 449 1684 .Pet Services

this is a copy of their yellow pages online listing they claim to know nothing about it which we all know is bollocks do not trade with the shop

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700c [906 posts] 3 years ago
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Stumpy, if the public have no confidence that the police and or justice system will not look out for them, then it is inevitable that you will get people taking matters into their own hands, in a manner that you, Stumpy, our other law enforcers, may not approve of.

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AWPeleton [3325 posts] 3 years ago
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Some people are never happy no matter what the result is.

Sometimes the offender gets off leniently sometimes they dont, thats life, like it or not.

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tired old fart [77 posts] 3 years ago
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dickhead stumpy

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Tom Amos [236 posts] 3 years ago
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I wonder if the Police would have made the same decision if it had been a Police cyclist?

Just a question.

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AWPeleton [3325 posts] 3 years ago
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700c wrote:

Stumpy, if the public have no confidence that the police and or justice system will not look out for them, then it is inevitable that you will get people taking matters into their own hands, in a manner that you, Stumpy, our other law enforcers, may not approve of.

Your right there will be times when people have no confidence in the Police but when you look at some of the comments on here you wonder whether these people will ever be satisified and perhaps they need to look at themselves first before making rash abusive comments.

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tired old fart [77 posts] 3 years ago
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Weird N Wonderful Weird N Wonderful .128, Alcester Rd, Birmingham , B13 8EE
Tel: 0121 449 1684 .Pet Services

this is a copy of their yellow pages online listing they claim to know nothing about it which we all know is bollocks do not trade with the shop

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andybwhite [250 posts] 3 years ago
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PLEASE UPDATE THIS PAGE WITH THE CORRECT BUSINESS NAME

the offending driver was from Wierd'n'Wonderful of Birmingham.

Weird and Wonderful is a taxidermist in Lancashire and is totally unconnected with this. He is apparently getting quite a few nasty calls.

PLEAE UPDATE THIS STORY NOW!

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Recumbenteer [166 posts] 3 years ago
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stumps wrote:

Some people are never happy no matter what the result is.

Sometimes the offender gets off leniently sometimes they dont, thats life, like it or not.

Except the thug in this case clearly hasn't been to court, but has been let-off through some obscure arrangement. One can think of a number of other scenarios, not involving a motor-vehicle where such an unprovoked, violent assault upon an entirely innocent party would appear to be treated quite differently.

Does it mean that drivers can kill, maim or assault cyclists without any risk of serious punishment?
If the newspapers and this case are any guide. Apparently, it does.

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fatbeggaronabike [815 posts] 3 years ago
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I am not quite sure who or what frightens me the most, the idiot in the video or some of the comments being made.

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colinth [191 posts] 3 years ago
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Surely a key phrase from the article is that he was "eligible for a caution", is that not different from having to be offered one ? I refuse to believe that everyone commiting an assault like this MUST be allowed to effectively get away with it if they admit it and its a first offence. Sounds like the police couldn't be arsed to take it further

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