Monday 16 November 2015

Are the Police colluding with developers to remove bikes?

Some strange happenings in Cambridge have led me to ask the paranoid sounding question in the title of this blog post.

What started out with the badly thought out, disastrously naive #badlyparkedbike campaign (which backfired spectacularly, leading to cyclists taking pictures of cars blocking pavements across Cambridge and beyond, with one even threatened with arrest under protection from terrorism laws for doing so) has now taken a more sinister flavour with one of the first locations targeted by Cambridge Police being the site of a controversial bike removal scheme. The stubborn refusal of our police service to admit error, followed by blocking many prominent critics, has rather made a mockery of their claims to impartiality - are they colluding with the developers to remove these bikes?

Its not obvious down there near the station which parts of the development are public space and which are private. Indeed its a total pigs ear - there are insufficient bike spaces for commuters and residents, resulting in people locking bikes up all over the place. Such is the nature of Cambridge though - its not new, its the way things are and pretty much always have been - if something is not obviously private property you've really got no excuse for being angry at people using an out of the way location that won't block access to lock up their bikes.

The close proximity of Cambridge Police talking about #badlyparkedbike in the context of this? That takes this past obvious coincidence into suspicious. 

If I were to remove a car parked on my property and dispose of it I'd be breaking the law. But if its a bike? Well, it seems no one at our police service gives a monkeys about you. 


  1. I'm no lawyer, but it seems to me that if the police don't do anything someone whose bike it taken could probably take civil action against them, for example under trespass to property. They'd have a particular good chance of success if they could demonstrate damage to the property, e.g. through the cutting of a lock. At any rate a letter threatening legal action might make the company think twice and try to get the bike back.

  2. Is the area concerned fully open to the public? (if so, how long as if it "looks" like a highway and has been fully open for 20 years or more it may well be highway) are there any S31 Highways Act notices?