Avon and Somerset police have said that no action will be taken against a Bristol cyclist for swearing. Matt Trevers can be heard employing some colourful language in a video of an alleged near-miss that he submitted to police in the hope that the driver would be prosecuted.
The Bristol Post reports that Trevers was riding down Gloucester Road, taking a position in the middle of the lane to avoid a potential dooring by one of the parked cars. He says a driver then beeped and passed him without leaving sufficient room.
Believing this to have been a deliberate and aggressive manoeuvre, Trevers submitted helmet cam footage of the incident to police.
He was told that they would not be investigating, so he put in a complaint. He received a call six months later in which he was told he would not be facing prosecution for swearing in response to what happened.
"After I initially asked for a review of the decision, I had a fairly unfriendly call from an officer, in which he mentioned that it wasn't in the public interest to prosecute me for my 'offence'. It wasn't an official warning, but there seemed to be an implied threat that he could."
A spokesman for Avon and Somerset police said:
"No action was taken against the car driver as there was insufficient evidence to support the offence of driving without due care and attention. Officers also decided not to take action against the cyclist for his use of bad language.
"Subsequently the cyclist made a formal complaint about the lack of action from officers, which has been investigated by the force's professional standards department.
"It was confirmed that the criminal allegation did not meet the threshold for prosecution and a detailed response has been provided to Mr Trevers, who may appeal the decision if he is not satisfied.
"We encourage all road users to treat each other with courtesy and follow the recommendations of the Highway Code."
Trevers said he was disappointed in the response, but understood that police “often have their hands tied.”
“I had hoped that at the very least, the driver might have learnt a lesson about safety and reflected on his actions. However, immediately after leaving the station, he uploaded his own footage to YouTube blaming me for the incident. He doesn't realise or care that he put me in a lot of danger."
Duncan Dollimore from the Cycling UK's Cyclists' Defence Fund said: "The initial response from the investigating officers was completely inadequate. They should have fully investigated this and failed to do so, seeking to apportion blame upon Matt for his road position when he was riding towards the middle of the road to keep clear of possible opening car doors from the parked cars on his left."