This is the second in a series of posts relating the the Ely Standard front page article about “anti-social cyclists” (here is the first Pedestrians vs Cyclists is a different level of conflict to Cyclists vs Cars).
What should have been highlighted is the behaviour and not the group. The Ely Standard’s headline should have said “anti-social cycling” not “anti-social cyclists“. It’s a small but very important difference.
The problem with “anti-social cyclists” is that it implies that some (and possibly all) cyclists are anti-social. So even cyclists who are behaving in a perfectly conscientious manner could be one of those anti-social cyclists and so they don’t deserve any respect. The phrase condemns all cyclists because of some of the behaviour of some cyclists. Apparently Inspector Ormerod used the same phrase in his podcast (although we can’t confirm that as we can’t find the podcast online – see update).
If this is correct then he should have known better. The police and courts don’t deal with anti-social people, they deal with anti-social behaviour. It’s a very important distinction and one which in this case has sadly been lost.
We have now found the Star Radio podcast that Ely Standard based their article on:
The police inspector quite clearly uses the term anti-social cycling NOT cyclists, also he notes that most of the issues that were raised concerned speeding and parking NOT cycling. He appears to only mention anti-social cycling as he thought it was out of the ordinary.