I know this is a naked blog but hey, this post relates to issues with police whilst I was naked. 

I was taking part in Cardiff World Naked Bike Ride. In 2011 I had permission to ride ahead, take a position and photo-document the ride, getting back on my bike as the final rider had passed me and then riding ahead again. I had this permission in 2012 too but due to Cardiff City Councils intransigence regarding providing four police cycle outriders, due to cost, it appears there was some confusion and poor communication amongst officers tasked with monitoring the ride. At one point, whilst clearly within the profile of the ride, so with riders both in front and behind me, I was threatened with arrest, for stopping. As this threat was being given I noticed a uniformed officer taking video on his mobile phone of me and of the ride in general. 

I complained. 

I had a meeting with the investigating officer. Apologies were given. Then, South Wales Police covered up their actions on the day, either to protect young and vulnerable officers or to hide the fact that they were recording a naked protest in the same detail that they record all other protests, with what any reasonable person can clearly see, are LIES. 

And now I don’t know what to do. Let it go most say. But… Why? ‘You can’t get one over the man’ most say. But… Why not try? So, I am making all communication, my recollections and the recollections of others on the ride available here and I think I will send to some political types, just to see what they come up with… Not expecting much but what else is there to be done?

MY ORIGINAL COMPLAINT TO SOUTH WALES POLICE

I took part in the excellent Cardiff World Naked Bike ride yesterday and despite Cardiff City Council’s refusal to provide police riders as in previous years and the numbers taking part doubling this year, the event was successful and without incident. I would like to commend the on foot and on bike officers who enabled a safe start and finish to the ride and did so with friendly and approachable professionalism, just how policing ought to be.

However, I was disappointed by other policing of the event for several reasons which I will detail here. I would very much like a response to these issues raised. 1) Despite there being no police riders assisting with keeping the demonstration together and at road junctions controlling traffic and dealing with any abusive members of the public (of which there are thankfully very few) South Wales Police found the funding to provide on foot officers at the start and finish of the ride, cycle officers for part of the end of the ride and a Mercedes (?) police van which followed much of the ride. Surely this was more expensive than providing four cycling police officers as in previous years to assist with the ride for its duration? 2) At one stage the police van passed me as I was on the side of the road. I noticed that the police man who was a passenger in the vehicle was recording the ride on his smart phone. Although I don’t  mind passers by snapping away I did think that this was unprofessional and particularly voyeuristic behaviour being exhibited by an officer who should have been looking out for the riders safety and monitoring the rides progress through Cardiff’s busy streets. Your thoughts on this point please… At the start of the ride I asked the on foot officers if it was OK for me ride ahead of the group and stop and take photos as the group passed me by, something that I had agreed with police officers the previous year and which enabled me in 2011 to obtain a complete record of the event. They said ‘yes, that was fine.’ I proceeded to do this, cycling a little ahead and positioning myself at key points for photos, so by the New Theatre, the Olympic rings etc. I was in position and taking photos of passing cyclists, opposite the main entrance to the Millenium Stadium, when the afore-mentioned police van passed me. Firstly it must be stated that the van was in the middle of the ride, so it had passed the slower ones at the back and had broken up the group. I found this to be quite shocking as on this straight road there was no visual contact between the front and the rear and the lead riders would assume that the van was still following the stewards acting as back-markers. The driver, as he passed, shouted at me ‘You can’t stop. Get moving’. I could tell by his tone that he was very angry so I did as I was told and cycled on but I pulled up alongside the passenger door. Here I stated that in previous years I had been able to cycle a little in front of the group and to stop and that I had asked the on foot officers at the start of the ride if this was OK this year and that they had said yes. But there was actually no point in talking to him as he simply and rudely said ‘if I see you off your bike again I will arrest you.’ As I say, there was no point talking to ‘Mr Angry’ on the day, so, I would now like to now know 3) on what grounds would he have arrested me? 4) why he felt he had to assert his authority in quite such an inflammatory manner? 5) why he was driving a vehicle in the midst of a cycle demonstration? 6) given the nature of the day and not having any intention of causing offence, what law was I breaking? 7) I would also like to know how the South Wales Police works towards consistency of approach amongst officers at such events and over the years as the drivers ‘opinion’ of his duties was in marked contrast to the actions and advice taken and given by police officers in 2011 and at the start of the 2012 event. I thank you for your time.

I met with an officer at South Wales Police and we discussed the issues raised. I stated that I did not want  to make a formal complaint but she insisted that this was initiated, that due to rfid monitoring they knew  who the officers were, that if an officer had been found recording the ride on his personal mobile then he would be dismissed, that if he was found to have been recording the ride on his police mobile he would be disciplined and that all of my questions would in due course be answered. She did however remark that the police have to deal with flashers in Bute Park and that they were after a male who was exposing himself in the park. Not really sure of that connection but then I thought… Hmmm… she thinks that the naked bike riders are wierdos… 

THIS IS MY RESPONSE TO A PHONE CALL WHICH WAS THE SOUTH WALES POLICES RESPONSE TO MY COMPLAINT

Thank you for chatting to me a few days ago. I have taken the weekend to think over your response to the questions that I raised and am left feeling disappointed and troubled and left with more questions than I started with. So, you stated when I met with you that you knew who the officers in the van were but they had not been contacted or interviewed. You wrote their names on the complaint form. You said they were traceable using a ifrd type system that all police officers are monitored by. When we spoke on the phone you stated that you had talked to the officers and that “you are not going to believe” what you had discovered, the story as told by the officers involved. You stated that they told you that whilst monitoring the ride the police officer in the passenger seat had to leave the van and deal with a shoplifting incident. The driver remained following the ride when he came across a member of the public who was being abusive. This person was taken off the street by the single officer and allowed to sit in the passenger seat, in the front of the vehicle. You said that it was this man that I saw taking video of the ride and of me. This member of the public. You also said that the officer driving the vehicle had apologised for his short and terse treatment of me and when he spotted the passenger taking video he removed the persons phone and deleted the video and took him away from the centre of town and left him somewhere a long way from the ride. That is what I was told over the phone and that appears to be your full response to the matter. None of my questions were answered and as I say, your description of events on the day leads me to ask more. Firstly, I will state again, I did not want to instigate a complaint. I simply wanted honest answers to the questions raised. We are now, due to the handling of this matter, in a situation where I cannot trust or believe in the police re the account of the day and re getting some honest responses. So, I am going to be blunt now. You expect me to believe that a lone driver would pull a member of the public from Cardiff Streets and have him sit up front whilst that driver was monitoring a demonstration? You expect me to believe that that member of the public was able to record the ride for a prolonged period of time without being noticed by the driver, including when the police van passed me and the driver was looking past the passenger? You expect me to believe that an officer tasked with monitoring a demonstration would pull a member of the public and take them away from the city centre and leave them there? you expect me to believe that a police officer confiscated a personal mobile phone, deleted information stored on the phone and handed that phone back to the member of public? Is there a record of any of this, an arrest record, a removal of persons record, a deletion of digital information record? I feel sure that there must be many codes if not laws broken by that course of action… Not one rider saw the police officer driving the van advise the member of the public to be quiet, stop the van, read the member of the public their rights, arrest the member of the public and have them sit in the van with them. This was not seen and in my opinion such an action would have left the police van a very long way behind the riders when in fact it remained in visual contact until Cardiff Bay from where it disappeared. I simply do not believe the police drivers version of events. You see I know what I saw and I saw two police officers sitting in the front of the police van. Others saw this too, at different locations. Others saw the filming too, and at different locations. So I will detail the old and new questions that I think are still relevent and are worthy of answers… 1) As you state that it was a member of the public that was shooting video of the naked bike ride from the police van can you provide this persons name and arrest information or evidence that a member of the public was pulled from the streets that day? 2) You told me you knew who the officers were, that they had been traced by your systems. As the police on the grounds story differs from the tagging systems records please explain the accuracy of these systems? 3) You stated at the face to face interview that you apologised to me on behalf of the police, that the two officers in question were both young and inexperienced. Is that a good way to run a police force. Placing two inexperienced officers together on a job surely leaves them open to criticism and complaint and leaves the public in a less than safe situation, having to deal with officers who are stressed and not fully aware of their responsibilities to the public?

3) on what grounds would he have arrested me?

4) why he felt he had to assert his authority in quite such an inflammatory manner? 5) why he was driving a vehicle in the midst of a cycle demonstration? 6) given the nature of the day and not having any intention of causing offence, what law was I breaking? 7) I would also like to know how the South Wales Police works towards consistency of approach amongst officers at such events and over the years as the drivers ‘opinion’ of his duties was in marked contrast to the actions and advice taken and given by police officers in 2011 and at the start of the 2012 event.

AND SO I GET THIS FROM SOUTH WALES POLICE

I am sorry that you have been left disappointed and troubled with regards to the answers I provided to you. I appreciate that you have further questions and I will endeavour to answer them below. When I met with you I had been passed two officers names relating to our IR3 system. However, on re-checking the system, it would appear that an earlier time had been entered, which was prior to the bike ride taking place. The search on the earlier time indicated that the two officers I mentioned in the report were together. However, I have been advised by the officer’s supervisor, Sergeant Kings, that one of the two officers was called away to deal with a shoplifting offence and there is a police occurrence which confirms this. As previously discussed, I was not present at the bike ride, but the officer present has assured me that it became necessary to place a member of the public in a police vehicle as a result of him voicing his objections to the bike ride. It was this same person that the officer (the driver) of the vehicle informed me had appeared to video the bike ride with his mobile ‘phone. The video was subsequently deleted from his phone. In response to your further questions: A lone police driver would deal with a member of the public by themselves. This is normal police practice, where officers patrol single crewed and would request back up if that became necessary. No persons were arrested during the bike ride demonstration and I am unable to provide you with any details of the person placed in the police vehicle, due to Data Protection issues. The both officers although young in service are fully trained and able to perform the role of independent patrol. Therefore, it is more than acceptable for these two officers to patrol together. With regards to you having been told that unless you return to the ride or put your clothes on, as you had broken away from the body of the ride, I explained that this may have resulted in excessive calls from members of the public being concerned that there was a lone male cycling with no clothes on. Officers fearing that this may be an incident of exposure under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, may have felt it necessary to use their power of arrest if they believed that there was an intention to cause someone alarm or distress. I have apologised on behalf of South Wales Police for the manner in which this officer spoke to you. The intentions of not wanting to cause offence are clear within a group as part of the demonstration. However, on your own and not knowing if you were part of the group may have caused alarm or distress to families walking by the park. With regards to the manner in which South Wales Police manage the decision to police or not to police the bike ride, this is a “direction and control” matter and one which I cannot comment on. I hope this goes some way to answering your questions.

WELL NO!  IT DOESN’T…

I don’t believe a wrong time was entered

I don’t believe a member of the public was pulled from the street and I think I can now prove that with the image of a person in the rear of the police van

But most importantly… 

And come on… ‘as you had broken away from the body of the ride, I explained that this may have resulted in excessive calls from members of the public’ …

BUT! I was within  the body of the ride! When I was accosted I was not a long way into the ride, so, given that individual police officers do not communicate with each other, how is it that the excessive phone calls that ‘may’ have been made can result in a direct action by an individual police officer, say ten or fifteen minutes into the demonstration proper?

AND! When they say ‘may” I believe they say ‘we made up’ or ‘un-provable statistic’ but then there is the so called freedom of info act that ought to be able to sort that one out… I’ll leave that to the politocos that I am forwarding this to… 

So, I believe I have been verbally abused by an officer, illegally filmed by South Wales Police Force officers whilst naked on their personal or police mobile phones, wrongly threatened with arrest, lied to by an investigating officer dealing with a complaint and given inadequate answers to questions posed. 

THIS IS THE INFORMATION GATHERED FROM THE FACEBOOK THREADS

So, the police van that was at the back of the ride – what do riders remember about it, specifically how many officers were there in the front seats? 

Does anyone remember seeing the van stop and an officer having an argument with a member of the public? If so what happenned? Any info regarding the van much appreciated and can be sent as a private message to me if you prefer…

Like ·  · Unfollow post · 22 June at 13:37

I seem to remember it screeching in as we re-started onto lloyd george avenue and thinking to myself “Calm down, butt”. Also seem to remember it coming by at a fair lick, on Boulevard De Nantes. After which, they spoke to you I suspect. The…See more

22 June at 14:31 · Like

  • Barsha Knight I remember one of them filming us, but I can’t remember at which point this was… I’m not the most linear of people :p

22 June at 15:05 · Like · 1

World Naked Bike Ride Cardiff 2012

www.flickr.com

Flickr is almost certainly the best online photo management and sharing applicat…See more

22 June at 15:07 · Like

  • Mo Del Yes, that’s the one. I have a photo of it having broken up the ride but those insode are not recognisable. Can’t say much at the mo as want answers to the above without in future being accused of asking leading questions.

22 June at 15:11 · Like · 1

  • Nick Wysoczanskyj Yeah that’s the van that I saw with the camera phone as we rounded the corner by the Hilton.

22 June at 15:16 · Like

  • Mo Del So, last question. Was it two police officers sitting in the front of the van?

25 June at 22:15 · Like

  • Nigel Knott I think there were two in the front and one with a camera phone leaning from behind?

25 June at 22:36 · Like · 1

26 June at 00:18 · Edited · Like

  • Nick Wysoczanskyj It’s still annoying me that the decision to make an official report was taken out of your hands, Andy. I know that you wouldn’t have made an official complaint – as soon as that was begun we were destined to NEVER get to the bottom of it! It was short-sighted and stupid. Thanks for keeping me in the loop though – I really appreciate it. Cheers, mate.

26 June at 00:45 · Edited · Like

Right, I’m going to be posting full details of my communication with the police, not here though, likely on a blog somewhere. I’ll keep this page posted though so that those that are interested can read what has been said. Suffice to say I …See more

27 June at 19:23 · Like

  • Nigel Knott Surely anyone arrested wouldn’t have been sat in the front seat? I definitely saw someone leaning forward from the back (drivers side) holding a camera phone up.

27 June at 19:26 · Unlike · 4

  • Grahame Inman A police van/minibus pulled up beside me just before the Millenium Centre and asked me to dress but there was only one police officer and he was driving. After I dressed he then lit out after the main pack of cyclists turned around at the T-junction and shot off. Not sure if it was the same vehicle that you are on about but as I was the back marker it was the only one that I saw.

3 hours ago · Like

Cardiff WNBR 2012

www.flickr.com

2 hours ago · Like

  • Grahame Inman There was also a stationary van parked in the middle of the pedestrian precinct and another that did a U-turn at some traffic lights and came around between me and the pack with its blues on as we made our second circuit around the town. It might well have all been the same van as I couldn’t see the occupants except when I was stopped.

2 hours ago · Like

This is all interesting stuff Graham. That is the van and driver that approached me but as I say when he pulled up beside me I was opposite the main gates to the stadium and he had another officer sat next to him taking photos/video. Intere…See more

2 hours ago · Like

  • Grahame Inman It might well have all been the same van as I couldn’t see the occupants or vehicle reg until I was stopped, but I have all my sightings on video up until I was stopped just before the Millenium Centre (at least that’s what I think it’s called) as I never caught up with the pack after that.

2 hours ago · Like

Thanks Graham. I just think it a bit odd that they say they apprehended someone and nobody saw that, that I know I saw two officers and some think they saw three in the van… I think there was one van with two officers and the one taking v…See more

about an hour ago · Like

  • Grahame Inman I have just uploaded 2 more photos of the police vans. One is in the precinct and is a bit obscure but the one doing the U-turn does seem to have another officer in the back who was not present when he stopped me. I cannot say that I saw anyone apprehended but if it happened prior to me being stopped then they were probably transferred to another vehicle to be taken back to the station with the arresting officer.

about an hour ago · Like

Amazing stuff Graham and thank you very much! The second photo, showing someone in the rear of the vehicle, this is an important find as it proves that there were other people in the ploce van. I don’t think an officer dealing with a vocal …See more

about an hour ago · Like

  • Mo Del Especially when the said van was following a group of about five riders who had lost the ride and only rejoined it at Cardiff Bay…

about an hour ago · Like

  • Grahame Inman I do seem to remember that one or more riders had a problem near the castle and the girl with ‘1st Aid’ written on her back was waving other riders past. Those riders (maybe 4 or 5 I think), came down the right-hand side of Lloyd George Avenue on the pavement and cut across a light or two in front of me to catch up with the pack, I was stopped at the lights at the time.

about an hour ago · Like

  • Mo Del That’s right, the 1st aid girl is my partner and she said they caught up whilst being tailed by the van. I am assuming you were stopped for being a ways behind the front riders. Sorry about that. I am going to suggest walkie talkies for next years ride, to maintain a verbal communication if the visual is broken.

about an hour ago · Like · 1

  • Nick Wysoczanskyj Did they ever clarify on what grounds the threat of arrest was made, Andy? Or did they never answer the question of whether it was an unsubstantiated or a serious threat?

about an hour ago · Like

No, not really. As far as I can gather there was a stressed officer, originally two officers but that changed as the story changed, who was young and inexperienced and had apologised. Had there been an arrest it would have been under the se…See more

56 minutes ago · Like · 1

No. That is quite right. You clearly intended no alarm or distress and you were simply documenting the ride, as agreed with myself and the officers at the start of the ride.  The offence of “Indecent Exposure” is defunct too! the Exposure …See more

34 minutes ago · Like

  • Mo Del And that is what makes me mad. We can all be detained at any time only to be released with no charge. At the insistence of an over zealous pc who has a firework up his arse. Or something. You know, it makes me scared and that is exactly how I think ‘they’ want us to feel…

31 minutes ago · Like · 1

If you watch a TV programme called ‘My teenage daughter is a naturist’ you will see the same thing. At one point a boy and girl are handing out leaflets in Manchester and both decide to go topless. Soon the girl is confronted by a police …See more

13 minutes ago · Unlike · 2

  • Mo Del Nipples with a N or nipples with a n…

8 minutes ago · Like · 1

I would like to send this to South Wales Police – what you all think? I took part in the excellent Cardiff World Naked Bike ride yesterday and despite Cardiff City Council’s refusal to provide police riders as in previous years and the numbers taking part doubling this year the event was successful and without incident.  However, I was disappointed by the policing of the event for several reason…Continue Reading

Like ·  · Unfollow post · 10 June at 18:37

  • David ThomasCatherine SmithJames Gent and 2 others like this.
  • Mike Ambler Great Andy. Before you send it, I would break it down into more paragraphs – easier to read, and list your points at the end as bullet points, so that they are not simply lost in the rest of the text.

10 June at 18:42 · Like

  • Mike Ambler Like this maybe: I took part in the excellent Cardiff World Naked Bike ride yesterday and despite Cardiff City Council’s refusal to provide police riders as in previous years and the numbers taking part doubling this year the event was successful and without incident.  However, I was disappointed by the policing of the event for several reasons which I will detail here. I would very much like a response to these issues raised.  Despite there being no police riders assisting with keeping the demonstration together and at road junctions controlling traffic and dealing with any abusive members of the public (of which there are thankfully very few) South Wales Police found the funding to provide on foot officers at the start and finish of the ride, cycle officers for part of the end of the ride and a Mercedes (?) police van which followed much of the ride. Surely this was more expensive than providing four cycling police officers as in previous years to assist with the ride for its duration? At one stage the police van passed me as I was on the side of the road. I noticed that the police man who was a passenger in the vehicle was recording the ride on his iPhone. Although I don’t mind passers by snapping away I did think that this was unprofessional and particularly voyeuristic behaviour being exhibited by an officer who should have been looking out for the riders safety and monitoring the rides progress through Cardiff’s busy streets.  At the start of the ride I asked the on foot officers if it was OK for me ride ahead of the group and stop and take photos as the group passed me by, something that I had agreed with police officers the previous year and which enabled me in 2011 to obtain a complete record of the event. They said yes, that was fine.  I proceeded to do this, cycling a little ahead and positioning myself at key points for photos, so by the New Theatre, the Olympic rings etc. I was in position and taking photos of passing cyclists, opposite the main entrance to the Millennium Stadium, when the afore-mentioned police van passed me. Firstly it must be stated that the van was in the middle of the ride, so it had passed the slower ones at the back and had broken up the group. I found this to be quite shocking as on this straight road there was no visual contact between the front and the rear and the lead riders would assume that the van was still following the stewards acting as back-markers.  The driver, as he passed, shouted at me ‘You can’t stop. Get moving’. I could tell by his tone that he was very angry so I did as I was told and cycled on but I pulled up alongside the passenger door. Here I stated that in previous years I had been able to cycle a little in front of the group and to stop and that I had asked the on foot officers at the start of the ride if this was OK this year and that they had said yes. But there was actually no point in talking to him as he simply and rudely said ‘if I see you off your bike again I will arrest you.’  As I say, there was no point talking to ‘Mr Angry’ on the day, so, I would now like to know;  • On what grounds would he have arrested me  • Why he felt he had to assert his authority in quite such an inflammatory manner, • Why he was driving a vehicle in the midst of a cycle demonstration and given the nature of the day and not having any intention of causing offence,  • What law was I breaking.  I would also like to know how the South Wales Police works towards consistency of approach amongst officers at such events and over the years as the drivers ‘opinion’ of his duties was in marked contrast to those actions and advice taken and given by police officers in 2011 and at the start of the 2012 event.

10 June at 18:46 · Like

  • Mo Del Yes agreed – definately needs the questions bullet pointed so that they answer all of them first time round…

10 June at 18:47 · Like · 1

  • Nick Wysoczanskyj I’m trying as much as possible to keep the police on-side. the officers at the beginning and the end of the ride were helpful as they always are the CSOs on bikes were as nonplussed as myself as to why they had been on-duty, on bikes, in attendance at the beginning and the end of the ride – but were barred from just doing the smart thing and just escorting us for the 90 minutes of the ride.  That said, the police van that followed us seemed quite aggressive and speed around the tail-end for no discernible reason and you have totally valid questions to ask with regards to your personal treatment on the day.  I would just ask that you specify that the officers at both ends oaf the ride were excellently helpful take their comments and sound advice at both ends of the ride; and their handling of that abusive git at the end. Specify that it was the van driver in particular that you had issues with and that’s all I can ask really.  The police have been excellent in the past the CSOs were great to us ion the day and they were the only really helpful source of info about the new ‘system’ for protest management. It’s a shame that one particular officer treated you in such a way and it is your right to ask questions with regards that.  It’s such a shame that the actions of one individual can mar opinions so easily. The rest of the guys were great and I think entirely on our side. Your right to raise questions about the cost of putting so many officers and vehicles on the ground yesterday too! As the CSO’s on bike said to me themselves it would have been cheaper, easier and safer to allow them to accompany us. Especially when they were on-duty and on patrol in town between the start and the finish, during the actual ride. It would have made much more sense to fro the council to have made a pragmatic decision and allowed them to ensure the safety of all involved. If you could do that I’d be really grateful, Andy. Cheers mate, Nick. P.S. I hope Becky’s feeling a bit less stressed today – I’m only just pulling it together myself. 😀

10 June at 19:00 · Like · 2

10 June at 19:06 · Like

  • Mo Del Yes, I think I imply that the officers on foot and bike were helpful but it would be better to state that they were friendly and approachable and enabled a safe start and finish to the ride too. Becky’s fine 🙂 Yes, it was just angry van man and I think he and his passenger probably was involved in minor infringements of the law and police guidelines on several ocassions, like being a vehicle in the middle of a cycle demo… And I would love to have an anser to the consistency of approach question 🙂

10 June at 19:08 · Like · 1

  • Mike Ambler Last night after a few of us came out of the Pen and Wig around 11:30 or so, two police officers in an unmarked (possibly their own) car pulled over and asked me how the ride went. They had obviously noticed my flag on bike, and I was still body painted. They were really nice and friendly, asking about numbers etc, and saying they were pleased that the sun had shined and that it had gone so well for us. I think these guys were off duty, but still in uniform.

10 June at 19:11 · Unlike · 6

  • Nick Wysoczanskyj The guys at the end in Cardiff escorted us last year – they picked me up on the fact that I was wearing the same t-shirt! In my defence, not continuously. They said the were pleased that it had gone well and that the ride was getting quite big now – that it was obviously twice the size of last year and that they couldn’t understand the thinking in putting us at risk by barring them from following us on their bikes. When I told them that we were followed by a van they were shaking their heads in disbelief. The guys on the ground – particularly the bike patrol guys with experience of being on the ride simply couldn’t understand it and were totally supportive as always, Mike.

10 June at 19:18 · Like · 1

  • Nick Wysoczanskyj Cheers, Andy. If you could do that for me that would be great. As long as they understand that there was one officer or van of officers that were conspicuous, insomuch as their behaviour was in stark contrast to the rest of the officers we met on the day, then I’d be really really grateful. They are our only official support and without them we wouldn’t be able to continue, I think. You have perfectly legitimate questions to raise about your interactions with that officer, so ask away, in that regard. Cheers, Andy. Let me know what they say.

10 June at 19:24 · Like

  • Mo Del I took part in the excellent Cardiff World Naked Bike ride yesterday and despite Cardiff City Council’s refusal to provide police riders as in previous years and the numbers taking part doubling this year the event was successful and without incident. I would like to commend the on foot and on bike officers who enabled a safe start and finish to the ride and did so with friendly and approachable professionalism, just how policing ought to be.  However, I was disappointed by other policing of the event for several reasons which I will detail here. I would very much like a response to these issues raised.  1) Despite there being no police riders assisting with keeping the demonstration together and at road junctions controlling traffic and dealing with any abusive members of the public (of which there are thankfully very few) South Wales Police found the funding to provide on foot officers at the start and finish of the ride, cycle officers for part of the end of the ride and a Mercedes (?) police van which followed much of the ride. Surely this was more expensive than providing four cycling police officers as in previous years to assist with the ride for its duration? 2) At one stage the police van passed me as I was on the side of the road. I noticed that the police man who was a passenger in the vehicle was recording the ride on his iPhone. Although I don’t mind passers by snapping away I did think that this was unprofessional and particularly voyeuristic behaviour being exhibited by an officer who should have been looking out for the riders safety and monitoring the rides progress through Cardiff’s busy streets. Your thoughts on this point please… At the start of the ride I asked the on foot officers if it was OK for me ride ahead of the group and stop and take photos as the group passed me by, something that I had agreed with police officers the previous year and which enabled me in 2011 to obtain a complete record of the event. They said ‘yes, that was fine.’  I proceeded to do this, cycling a little ahead and positioning myself at key points for photos, so by the New Theatre, the Olympic rings etc. I was in position and taking photos of passing cyclists, opposite the main entrance to the Millenium Stadium, when the afore-mentioned police van passed me. Firstly it must be stated that the van was in the middle of the ride, so it had passed the slower ones at the back and had broken up the group. I found this to be quite shocking as on this straight road there was no visual contact between the front and the rear and the lead riders would assume that the van was still following the stewards acting as back-markers.  The driver, as he passed, shouted at me ‘You can’t stop. Get moving’. I could tell by his tone that he was very angry so I did as I was told and cycled on but I pulled up alongside the passenger door. Here I stated that in previous years I had been able to cycle a little in front of the group and to stop and that I had asked the on foot officers at the start of the ride if this was OK this year and that they had said yes. But there was actually no point in talking to him as he simply and rudely said ‘if I see you off your bike again I will arrest you.’ As I say, there was no point talking to ‘Mr Angry’ on the day, so, I would now like to now know  3) on what grounds would he have arrested me? 4) why he felt he had to assert his authority in quite such an inflammatory manner? 5) why he was driving a vehicle in the midst of a cycle demonstration? 6) given the nature of the day and not having any intention of causing offence, what law was I breaking? 7) I would also like to know how the South Wales Police works towards consistency of approach amongst officers at such events and over the years as the drivers ‘opinion’ of his duties was in marked contrast to the actions and advice taken and given by police officers in 2011 and at the start of the 2012 event.  I thank you for your time.

10 June at 19:26 · Like · 4

  • Mo Del I think that just about covers it but welcome any further advice and if (nick) you want anything changed then let me know, it’s you who has to deal with the brass and get them on side…

10 June at 19:28 · Like · 2

  • Nick Wysoczanskyj I think that if you could just add to the end of the bit about the commendable behaviour paragraph at the start: “I took part in the excellent Cardiff World Naked Bike ride yesterday and despite Cardiff City Council’s refusal to provide police riders, as in previous years, and the numbers taking part doubled this year – the event was successful and without incident. I would like to commend the on foot and on bike officers who enabled a safe start and finish to the ride and did so with friendly and approachable professionalism, just how policing ought to be. They were, as always a credit to your Force – their sound advice was helpful to us and they seemed genuinely disappointed that the decision had been made to prevent their escort of the ride.” Other than that, the rest are questions your entitled to ask – just keep the polite tone and you’re good to go. if you could add at the end: “It is a shame that one officer should mar my experiences with you on that day as your support of the ride is otherwise appreciated by everyone involved. I thank you for your time.” Cheers for asking Andy – I really appreciate you coming to me first,. Thanks, mate. Nick.

10 June at 19:39 · Unlike · 3

  • Nick Wysoczanskyj Thanks, Andy. I’m really grateful, as it’s so important to keep the police onside, and to their credit, they have been almost entirely great, now and in the past. It would be a shame to spoil our good relations with them now because of one idiot.

10 June at 19:48 · Like

  • Nick Wysoczanskyj ‎Ian Henden,  I would have preferred it if you had spoken to me regarding your decision to report the incident. Andy, has the prerogative to report his experiences on the day and our relationship with the police is massively important for our ride. While I would never stop Andy from reporting the incident, I don’t want to antagonise the constabulary with excessive hearsay complaints from anyone who was not a direct witness to events.  Andy has very kindly and respectfully taken the time to run his wishes by me, as it is I who has to maintain our interaction with South Wales Police and I would ask that, in spite of your feelings on the matter – however strong they may be, I’m sure that they are less strong than Andy’s – that you please do the same in future.  There were certainly short comings on the day, but until all avenues to rectify them have been exhausted in a calm and courteous fashion, I would very much like to maintain a respectful relationship with the police.  It is Andy’s choice to pursue his experiences and he has acted responsibly and respectfully in his pursuit of answer. A fact that I’m pleased with. Please refrain from doing anything that might scupper his efforts, or mine and the rides efforts, to which 5 years of hard work have been dedicated. Nick.

12 June at 10:30 · Like

  • Nick Wysoczanskyj He is in the process of following it up himself. At least, that is what I believe after our discussion the other evening. Somebody acted unilaterally with regards to contacting the press this year too and I was left to kick-bollock-scramble my way through phone interviews whilst in work without the facts easily to hand.  Luckily, as I was in the process of doing it myself, it was not a complete disaster and a waste of the valuable press support that our problems with the council had garnered for us. If it had gone wrong I would have been furious – both with myself for screwing it up and with the culprit for wasting a gift of an opportunity by jumping the gun unilaterally.

12 June at 11:02 · Like

12 June at 11:38 · Like

  • Nick Wysoczanskyj Well, I clearly pissed Ian off, as he has now left the group. It was unhelpful of him to report the incident, Andy, and a little presumptuous to think that you were incapable of making that choice yourself. However, since he has left in a huff I’ll have to write to him to get the contact number of the officer he spoke to – unless you want to do it Andy, or if you have made contact with someone already. Cheers, Andy.

12 June at 19:11 · Like · 1

  • Mo Del Well, I sent the email and would rather the machine does it’s stuff and wait for a formal reply. Ian did send me the details of the police officer he had been in touch with and I can pass these on if you wish. I’d rather not be talking to two police contacts though and my email has been passed onto a sgt in the mjor events department so that seems like the sensible place for the issues raised to be discussed and then answered.

12 June at 20:45 · Like

  • Nick Wysoczanskyj Thanks, Andy. Let me know what they say. I contacted Richard Jennings myself earlier today. Not to discuss this, just to ask him to thank the CSOs and to disclaim Ian’s decision to contact the force regarding your incident. Let me know what they say please as I’m interested in their handling of it. Now that the ball is rolling, I guess we shall have to run with it.
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Outdoor Professional @ Wales Outdoors, Model @ Cardiff Life Model Colective and Published Poet @ Self...

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