For the background to this, see this link (but best to ignore the comments!)
10 policemen took a whole Saturday to catch 12 deviant cyclists! I caught this in CityCycling and thought I would also write a letter to the police, for whatever good it may do...
Dear Chief Constable David Strang
I am writing to you regarding the Edinburgh Evening News story on the 6th November regarding Operation “Appetite”, the crackdown on cyclists.
I have no problem at all with action being taken over things like dangerous pavement cycling, shooting red lights etc. - the law’s the law. However, I was gravely concerned by the quote attributed to Inspector Gilhooly that “cyclists think they can get away with murder”.
With cyclist numbers increasing steadily and the concomitant rise in conflict with other road users, I think it very ill advised to deliberately inflame both parties with provocative statements like this.
Would the police publish a statement that “pavement parking drivers think they can get away with murder”? Or, “speeding drivers think they can get away with murder” or even “uninsured drivers think they can get away with murder”? I think not.
Each year in the UK on average, less than one person is killed by a pavement cyclist. In allocating the limited resources of the Police, surely this must be contrasted with the ~3500 people killed in road accidents by motorists!
I am also disturbed that between ten officers, just twelve cyclists were stopped during the whole of the Saturday referred to by the article. This implies that ten officer-hours were expended for each cyclist apprehended! As a long-standing Edinburgh resident I can tell you that as many motorists continuing after the light changes to red, or speeding could be apprehended in five minutes on certain city streets!
Although I applaud the intentions behind the crackdown and understand that it is largely a ‘show piece’ to appease residents like myself, I question whether it is a sensible use of police resources.
As a pedestrian in the city centre I am more concerned by daily dangerous driving antics than the admittedly annoying, but rarely dangerous cyclists. How many people are killed or seriously injured by speeding cars in Edinburgh each year, compared with those killed or seriously injured by cyclists?
I trust you will compare cyclist accident figures, before and after, to see how effective Operation “Appetite” has been. Will this information be made public?
I hadn't seen this story covered here so thought it was worth a quick post.