A police officer stopped a four-year-old and threatened to confiscate her bike as she was on her way to school with her Father.
It seems that young Sophie Lindley was breaking the law as she was riding her bicycle on the pavement.
Cycling groups have criticised the officer’s actions with Roger Geffen of CTC, the national cycling charity, saying: ‘Everyone lets their children ride on the pavement. It is perfectly normal and not criminal.
The Mail Online reports : Sophie, from Grantham, Lincolnshire, was wearing a helmet and her father Dale was holding a lead attached to the bicycle as she rode to school. They had paused to feed the ducks when the policeman warned her it was against the law to ride on the pavement.
Former soldier Mr Lindley, 34, said: ‘At first I thought he was joking but he looked deadly serious.
‘I said, “You must be kidding. What do you want me to do, make her ride on the busy road? It’s rush hour.”
‘He just shrugged and said, “She must get off the bike and walk and I’m going to sit here and make sure you don’t put her back on it. If you do, I’ll confiscate the bike.” I was gobsmacked.’
The officer kept watch as they began the one-mile walk uphill to West Grantham Academy St John’s school.
When Sophie arrived at school she was in floods of tears, Mr Lindley said.
‘The poor thing thought she was going to be put in jail. I’m absolutely outraged that a policeman can act in this way. Surely the police have better things to do than pick on parents taking their kids to school?’
Sophie’s mother Emma Stephenson, 33, said: ‘When Dale came home and told me what had happened I couldn’t believe it.
‘How on earth is my daughter riding her little bike with stabilisers to school a criminal offence? Surely there needs to be some common sense applied.
‘You can’t expect a four-year-old to ride in the road – it’s not exactly safe.
‘I am trying to teach her that they [the police] are friendly. Now that has all gone out the window.’
Admitting that common sense should have prevailed, Lincolnshire Police have now apologised to the family. However Sophie’s parents are considering making a formal complaint so that no other child is treated in the same way.
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