Police in Warwickshire have been alerted to an incident in which a cyclist riding at an off-road mountain bike and BMX track in Leamington Spa was shot with a pellet fired from an air rifle.
The pellet was reportedly fired last Thursday from an unauthorised travellers encampment sett up adjacent to the circuit last week.
Warwick Lanterne Rouge Cycling Club tweeted a picture of the injury to the rider, who is a member of Royal Leamington Spa Cycling Club.
WARNING TO ALL CYCLISTS IN WARWICK/LEAMINGTON AND SURROUNDING WHO USE CAMPION HILLS CYCLE TRACK.@RLSCyclingClub cyclist was shot With an air rifle by one of the Travellers from the camp yesterday! @leamcourier @WarwickCops @WarwickTCouncil @WarwickPol @WMPolice #cycling pic.twitter.com/Avu8Rvieem
— WarwickLRCyclingClub (@WLR_CC) January 18, 2019
In a reply to that tweet from the @WarwickPolice account, a Police Sergeant Kitson said: “Disgusted to read this, what is essentially an assault on a member of public with a firearm.
“I'm hoping the cyclist called us on 999 at the time, if not please can this be rung in asap, a control room Inspector will review the incident.”
It was subsequently confirmed by Warwick Lanterne Rouge Cycling Club that the rider had indeed notified police at the time.
In response to a Twitter user who said, “No point tagging police, they won’t do anything,” Sergeant Kitson replied: “Called in to our control room at the time of on 999, it would have been assessed & I'd expect it to have been attended as Grade 1, which is immediate. It's erroneous to state this would not be taken seriously.”
The incident happened the day after the Leamington Observer reported that travellers who are believed to have moved on from Stratford-upon-Avon had set up an encampment at Campion Hills.
It added that police officers and council officials had been due to visit the site last Wednesday.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.