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Cop threatens to take four-year-old’s bike in Grantham

By Judith Hawkins

Sophie Lindley, 4, holds on tightly to her bike, following the warning that it would be taken off her.
Sophie Lindley, 4, holds on tightly to her bike, following the warning that it would be taken off her.

The parents of a four-year-old were shocked when a policeman threatened to confiscate their daughter’s bike as she was riding on the pavement.

On Monday morning Sophie Lindley, 4, was riding her bike with stabilisers on a lead held by her father Dale, as they made their way along Trent Road as they regularly do on the journey from their home on Wilks Road to The West Grantham Academy St John’s.

Mr Lindley said: “A police car pulled over and told me she had to get off her bike as it is against the law to ride on the footpath.

“He then drove off but said he’d be checking his mirrors, and if he saw her riding the bike again he would confiscate it.”

Mr Lindley complied, despite then having to carry his crying daughter, her bike, and various other possessions.

On returning home, both his wife, Emma, and mother-in-law, Margaret Stephenson, were shocked by the events, and after looking into the law themselves rang up Grantham police station only to get contradictory responses.

Mrs Stephenson said: “One said the law applied to everyone – no-one can ride a bike on the pavement. But another said it shouldn’t have happened, as it’s different with children.”

Mrs Lindley, 34, said: “You can’t expect a four-year-old to ride in the road, it’s not exactly safe. And she has the lead and wears a helmet.”

Mr Lindley, 35, added: “We don’t have a car, and it’s almost two miles to the school. She can’t walk that with her little legs, which is why she’s always had the bike.”

Lincolnshire Police have not yet identified any police officer involved, but said they are investigating. A Lincolnshire Police spokesman said: “Safety is our priority and cycling on the pavement is illegal. However, common sense obviously prevails and in the case of young children, officers would use their discretion and offer the most appropriate advice for the circumstances.”


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