Wednesday, 8 September 2010

City Police vs City of London? Do they love us or hate us?

St Paul's Cathedral has not one bike stand
My recent post about the City promoting cycle chic got me thinking.

If you go to the City's cycle style promotional pages, you'll see that they love the idea of nice people cycling around the area:

"Cycling is not only a great way to get around town but also a very stylish mode of transport. Look at great cities like Copenhagen and Amsterdam where people cycle in suits and dresses. The City of London wants to encourage cycling in any clothing."

They love us. We are stylish. We don't pollute the streets. We reduce congestion. Hooray, we think.

And then we come to this. The City of London has its own police force. City of London Police has a Safer City Wards team. The team aims to provide you, the worker or resident in the City, with "the best possible policing service and we are here to listen and respond to matters that concern you the most."

Ok, so you like us cyclists. You want us to be safe on the City's streets as well as stylish. After all, we are vulnerable road users. Some 77% of all the incidents involving people killed or seriously injured on the roads in the City are either cyclists or on foot. Surely then, your job is to make sure we are catered for.

Oh no. I think not. What does the Safer Wards team think are the priorities for people in the City? These are they:

"How You Can Take Action


Special Constables: you may also want to consider becoming a Special Constable. Special Constables are trained officers who offer their services to the City of London on a voluntary basis. Find out more about how you

Cycling: Please report any incidents of careless/dangerous or inconsiderate cycling, as this allows us to identify 'hotspots' and deploy our staff to challenge this behaviour.


Rough sleepers and street drinkers: inform us in real time, as this allows us to intervene in a timely fashion and potentially defuse or prevent any escalation."
 
So, we're twinned with rough sleepers and street drinkers. Not that we have a problem with rough sleepers and street drinkers per se.
 
Don't like it? Want to do something about it? Perhaps consider attending one of these:
 
Community Partnership Meetings
 
"This meeting gives residents/business workers, in fact all members of the community especially if you represent a number of people in your place of work, the opportunity to decide the Ward Policing priorities for the next two months ahead.

New members are always welcome"
 
We'll be posting more details about forthcoming meetings soon. There are several taking place later in September. If you care about how you're perceived when you happen to be on a bicycle in the City of London, then please think about pitching up. It will take you 90 minutes at most. And you'll probably get a free cup of tea and a biscuit. We really do need to represent ourselves properly and that needs some hands on deck.