Five people have been arrested and released on bail in connection with a disturbing series of robberies and attacks on cyclists using the Bristol to Bath cycle path.
Eight people have been mugged for their bikes in the Easton area of Bristol through which the cycle path passes during the past month. Police have mounted additional foot patrols in the neighbourhood and are using off-road motorbikes to cover an even greater extent of the cycle path. At least one of the stolen bikes has been recovered by police who removed it from someone seen riding it while a second suspected stolen bike seized in the same way is awaiting identification by its owner.
Some of the attacks have involved the use of baseball bats and some have been motiveless, other than for the purpose of inflicting injury on the rider, as no subsequent attempt at robbery was made.
One such attack victim was Kai Paulden who told the BBC: “I’d come out of the gym at St Pauls’ sports centre and started to cycle home.
“I’ve only got a vague memory of how far I got, next thing I knew I was waking up in the accident and emergency department at the Bristol Royal Infirmary.”
He had suffered three cracked ribs, a broken cheek bone and cut lip in the attack.
Police are currently advising cyclists using the path not to ride alone and to only use the route during peak hours. Local residents are campaigning for increased security on the path and Easton ward councillor Abdul Malik is specifically calling for better lighting and the use of CCTV cameras.
Anyone who has any information about the recent robberies is urged to contact the Bristol Robbery Team on 0845 4567000