AIBU to feel frustrated? Attempted theft of bikes incident, police not interested.(130 Posts)
DH and DD(7) went for a cycle yesterday along a cycle track that runs all the way into our local city centre. It's safe (or so we thought), runs alongside a river for a few miles so is a pretty run and passes a lovely coffee shop half way through. Perfect for my eager DD cyclist.
3 miles into the run, my DH and DD were surrounded by a gang of youngsters who tried to intimidate them into surrendering their bikes. There was glass spread across the whole track and DH slowed to a halt to lift the bikes over and it was then that these kids appeared from behind pillars of a bridge. DH said that he counted approx 12 of them, ranging from about 6 years of age to 14 years of age. DH had picked up both bikes at the same time and told DD to stay close and walked the 3 metres or so over the glass. One of the older lads barged into DH but he kept walking, but all the while starting to feel real anxiety because DD was with him.
He urged her to get on her bike and gave her a shove to start her off quickly but heard some of the kids say "push her off, get the bike". He gave them an earful but they laughed at him, told him to "f*ck off" and that they all had "iron bars to batter him with". Some lads had started to jog after my DD so he flew after her but they all started chasing and throwing stones. One stone caught DD at the back of the head, thumped off her helmet and another stone caught her on her bottom. Big enough to leave a bruise.
They did get away, Thank God, but are really shaken by the whole ordeal. DD who by no means is an easy crier, sobbing and white as a sheet. DH telephoned the local police at the coffee shop, police arrived but told DH that the kids were most likely from the gypsie site nearby and were more or less above the law. They admitted that they wouldn't be following it up because it was known amongst the police that gypsie's would find out where they lived, and make their lives a nightmare. DH pointed out that there was glass most likely placed across the path to stop cyclists, and the police officer said that they'd get it swept up, but other than that, no further action would be taken.
I'm so angry about this. My gut instinct was to try and go down to the site and appeal to the Mums of these kids, but DH thinks I'm nuts. I'm not going to, but I'm appalled that these kids are getting away with it. At it's best, the whole situation has really shaken DD up, but at its worst, it could have been terrible. DH is 6ft 5' and the kids had a tough enough pack mentality to take him on.
What can I do, apart from avoid this track like the plague?
Ok fair enough, sorry. Only for a year and a half though, according to WIki so I think people will need some time to realise. I certainly didn't know and I know quite a few travellers socially. I often refer to them as Traveller friends (in the same way that I'd say London friends or uni friends) but I would never dream of saying black friends etc. So I'll have to stop doing that.
Ignorance not racism then, I suggest. I doubt it's all that well known.
amessage In the 18 years my whole community has suffered from the illegal actions of the travellers, we have all got out plenty thank you.
Why do you seem to have a problem accepting that communities get pissed off when descended upon by people clearly breaking the law?
It is horrible, but unfortunately very very true. Police never want to get involved in this kind of situation. Ridiculous I know!!
OP can you tell us exactly where it happened? We were on this cycle track a few days ago. We walked from Ystalafera to Pontardawe. We passed lots of people on the track and commented on how friendly they all were. I don't feel like going back now.
Primrose, you're right. That walk is beautiful and runs along the canal bank for a few miles, doesn't it? Have you walked further down to the next two villages? Again, right alongside the canal bank, and get's even prettier. You have no worries this side of the walk. It's the route that continues a few miles beyond that where this happened. Closer to Morriston, and closer to where it runs past the river bank and the A4067.
You shouldn't be concerned on the walk where you were - it's beautiful and gets more walker/cyclist/runner traffic. I jog alongside that canal bank stretch sometimes and have no worries there.
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