Manchester police say helmetless cyclists are "asking for trouble"

Greater Manchester Police accused of victim blaming after comparing speeding with not wearing a helmet

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has been slammed by cyclists after someone in charge of one of its division's Twitter accounts said cyclists riding bare headed are "asking for trouble" before comparing speeding while driving with cycling helmetless.

Cyclists who spotted the "asking for trouble" tweet by GMP Radcliffe, which appears to have now been deleted, questioned the statement, to which the GMP Radcliffe account added a comparison with not wearing a seatbelt in a car and the hash tag #dicingwithdeath.

When cyclists raised their concerns about comparing illegal activities such as not speeding and not wearing a seatbelt with not wearing a helmet, which is legal , the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police tweeted “both are clearly dangerous”. The tweet, and follow-up responses from GMP’s twitter account have raised concerns about prejudice against cyclists among police officers.

Greater Manchester Police under intense criticism as they host Twitter chat about cycling

The person behind GMP Radcliffe account later admitted the original tweet was ‘worded badly’.

A number of cyclists raised concerns about comparing illegal activities with legal ones, and about officers tweeting personal views, as opposed to taking a more evidence-based approach founded on what the law does and doesn’t permit.

At one point the GMP Radcliffe excused the comparison with the rationale cycle helmets are mandatory in some countries.

When Twitter users raised concerns about the links officers were apparently making between speeding and not wearing a helmet during the during the GMP's #askthechief Twitter session on Wednesday afternoon they were told "both are clearly dangerous".

Some in the twittersphere have called the views victim blaming.

Greater Manchester Police has been contacted for comment. 

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