PEOPLE who cycle on pavements are to be fined in a major crackdown by police.
For the first time, police in Leigh Park are handing out £30 fines to cyclists who break the law and ride on pavements.
Anyone over the age of 16 who cycles on the pavement will be initially handed a letter outlining a description of the offence – and they must sign it there and then.
Police will take the name and address of the cyclist and if they are caught again, they will be issued with a fine.
PC Patrick Hooper, who is leading the scheme in Leigh Park, said it was a ‘judgment call’ and anyone caught riding in a dangerous manner on the pavement could be given a fine without receiving the warning first.
Police have made it one of their priorities for the next three months after PACT – Police/Partners and Communities Together – which is made up of residents’ groups in Leigh Park and council officials – said cycling on pavements had become a major problem in Leigh Park.
PC Hooper, part of a team of 15 officers patrolling the estate, said: ‘Certainly in Greywell, it’s a pedestrian area and it’s plain dangerous.
‘People feel as if their pavements have been taken over. They want us to take a tougher stance.’
He added: ‘It’s something in Leigh Park we have never really done, other than advise people.
‘It’s not about us trying to catch people and fine them. It’s about changing people’s behaviour.
‘We would rather not catch anyone.
‘Sometimes the only way to go about changing people’s behaviour is in the pocket.’
He said anyone under 16 causing a persistent problem will get a visit to their parents’ house.
In the three weeks since the scheme came into force, 40 letters have been given out and two fines.
PC Hooper added: ‘If they are small kids out learning to ride with mum or dad then we understand there has to be some common sense employed and they are fine to do that. If they are in their teens and really should be on the road they’ll get a letter.’