On Monday at the South Area Committee meeting in Cherry Hinton, police agreed to adopt a new priority in the south of the city –mini-mot0 misuse. This is in top of an existing priority to address anti-social behaviour in Cherry Hinton.
The south sector neighbourhood police attend the Cambridge South Area meetings three times a year to present reports on their activities over the past season, highlight any trends, and to agree priorities for the coming season with councillors and the public. Anyone can come to these meetings and raise concerns. Monday’s meeting was held at the Cherry Hinton Village Centre for the first time, and there was a good attendance, with many clearly there specially for the policing item of the agenda.
The police start by presenting statistics, to inform the priorities. Mr Richard Taylor, a regular attender of council meetings and a campaigner for greater openness and accountability from public services, asked a number of questions about the stats, particularly about how they were broken down and why only certain types of crimes were included. He also asked about police surgeries and made some suggestions about how the police could tell people about these meetings in their own publicity. You can read Richard’s own account of this part of the meeting at his blog.
Various concerns were raised, including drink and drug abuse and I brought up under-age drink sales as I have had complaints recently. But it was bikes and mini-motos that were the burning issue. Councillor after councillor spoke of people riding on the pavement when they shouldn’t, and youths riding mini-motos recklessly in residential areas, terrorising innocent pedestrians.
The police were asked why, if they can run a campaign against cycling without lights, they can’t address other bike-related misdemeanours that harm other people, such as riding on the pavements.
Granted, as one of my fellow Cambridge Cycling Campaign members pointed out, most cyclists are law-abiding and some pavements are designated dual use – but the cyclists who break the rules give the good ones a bad name.
So I’m pleased to report that the police agreed to add a new priority: to concentrate on mini-motos and cycling misuse in Queen Edith’s and Cherry Hinton. If you notice any, please don’t hesitate to report it to them – telephone 03454564564.
A useful tip from Cllr Russ Macpherson, who knows about these things: Don’t worry if you don’t know the exact make of motorbike, as few people do. But make a note of the colour of the bike, as the colours are closely linked to the makes of bike. Clothing can also be quite distinctive, so try to give a good description of what the rider’s wearing.