Referral of MET Police to Independent Police Complaints Commission called for by Stop Killing Cyclists

Yesterday, the MET Police issued a correction to a press release they released on the day of the vigil for Michael Mason, who was struck by a person driving a car whilst he was cycling on Regent Street in February 2014.

Nicola Branch from Stop Killing Cyclists says:

Stop Killing Cyclists are horrified to learn of the awful treatment of the family of Mick Mason by the Met Police and we would recommend referral to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

To have been informed by a Press Release that that police would refer the case to the DPP [Director of Public Prosecutions], which although a bizarre and unconventional way of finding out, was a massive lift to the family, and now to have that hope whipped away from them equally through a Press Release, is an absolute disgrace.

The Met need to look very carefully how they deal with the family of a victim. They must be accountable for their actions.

Last Friday, 13 March 2015, Stop Killing Cyclists along with Cyclist’s Defence Fund held a vigil and die-in to remember Michael Mason who was killed in a crash on Regent Street a year earlier.

Earlier on that day, the MET police stated in a press release that they had reacted to the family’s call for the case to be referred to the crown prosecution service. They stated: “The [Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards] DPS supported the Detective Inspector’s original decision, but have referred the matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions.”

On budget day, the MET issued a correction to the press and media organisations before notifying the family or their solicitor:

CORRECTION: We have previously stated that the below matter was referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions. This is incorrect. No referral has been made.

Several members of Stop Killing Cyclists have written to their MPs to express their anger at the way the MET Police have handled the situation.

Nic Fripp wrote to his MP and stated in part:

I’m writing about the appalling miscarriage of justice that continues to unfold over the killing, just over a year ago, of Michael Mason.

Can you and your colleagues bring any pressure to bear on the Metropolitain Police to desist from this farrago of incompetence and stupidity? As the old proverb has it, one should never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity, but in this case…

Another member, Andrew Reeves-Hall wrote this to his MP:

It disgusts me how MET police have acted recently in this tragic case, let alone how they failed to act initially. Is there any pressure you can apply to get to bottom of their poorly timed press briefings, shocking behaviour to family (they learned of this through media) and failure to refer the case to CPS?

Reaction by other members can be found on the Stop Killing Cyclists Facebook discussion group HERE.

Statements from other organisations can be found in these articles:

Michael Mason remembered in ride and vigil on Regent Street

Michael Mason, 70, was killed on Regent Street in 2013 when struck by a person driving a car.
Michael Mason, 70, was killed on Regent Street in 2013 when struck by a person driving a car.

On Friday, 13 March 2015, a ride, vigil and Die-In was held in conjunction with the Cyclist’s Defence Fund to remember Michael Mason who was killed in a crash on Regent Street a year earlier.

Mick was hit from behind by a car on 25 February 2014 and died in hospital 19 days later. The ride and vigil remembered not just Mick but also the many other people who have lost their lives on London’s roads and across the UK.

Further information from the inquest can be found in this article by Martin Porter: Inquest into death of Michael Mason

If anyone would like to donate to the Cyclist’s Defence Fund to assist with the case for Mick Mason, please text BIKE 38 and the amount you wish to donate, to 70070

eg “BIKE 38 £20” to 70070

Donations are also accepted online at https://www.justgiving.com/justiceformichael

Thank Yous

Cyclists’ Defense Fund… Tweet:

Thanks to everyone who has already donated to #justice4michael appeal https://www.justgiving.com/justiceformichael #stopkillingcyclists

Nicola Branch…

Thank you to everyone who came along tonight, particularly all the speakers, and especially to Mick’s daughter Anna Tatton Brown – a very powerful and moving speech. Also thank you again to the Met police who stopped the traffic, esp Seargent Paul Findlater who made sure all his officers took their caps off during the 2 minutes silence.
The coup of the night being so very welcome at All Souls Church, where we had great food, listened to wonderful Jazz music and our vigil and die-in and the message to make the roads safer for all, young and old, was incorporated into the sermon.
Thank you.

Media

CTC

Cyclists’ Defence Fund

Evening Standard

Road.cc

Videos

DrMorocho- Die-In On Regents Street In Memory Of Michael Mason #StopKillingCyclists @StopKillingCycl

Speeches

Anna Tatton-Brown

Retired teacher Michael Mason, 70, with his daughter Anna Tatton-Brown (photo and caption: Evening Standard)
Retired teacher Michael Mason, 70, with his daughter Anna Tatton-Brown (photo and caption: Evening Standard)

Listen: Audio recording by ‘veloevol remote’ of Anna Tatton-Brown

Caroline Russell

Extract from We are not equal in the risks we face – speech at the vigil for Mick Mason 13th March

I spent my evening yesterday at the location of another road death, quietly contemplating with others all that is wrong with our streets and the miserable lack of UK road justice.
The police chose not to charge the driver and didn’t consult with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) before making their decision.

The event last night was organised by Stop Killing Cyclists and the Cyclists Defence Fund (CDF). The latter are helping Mick Mason’s family to get answers from the police as to why they didn’t discuss the case with the CPS and are thinking about possibly carrying out a private prosecution of the driver. The CDF has launched a fundraising appeal to ensure there are sufficient funds in the event that a private prosecution is needed.

Pictures

Gosia Cyganowsa…

Joe Dunckley…
For more of Joe’s photos, please see his website: COTCH DOT NET

Brenda Puech…


Footnotes…

Original Facebook event listing is HERE.
Person on motorcycle confronts protesters.
Evo Lucas - Michael Mason 2015-03-14 TaxiAnd thanks to that lady who tried to talk sense to the crazy LTDA chap.

BBC Radio4 PM discusses pavement cycling by a 4 year old

Click the picture to listen to the BBC Radio 4 interview.
Click the picture to listen to the BBC Radio 4 interview.

In the news yesterday, 10th March 2015, was a report about police in Lincolnshire threatening to confiscate a 4-year-old’s bicycle because she was riding it on the pavement.

Eddie Mair, host of the BBC Radio 4 news and current affairs programme ‘PM’, interviewed Donnachadh McCarthy, co-founder of Stop Killing Cyclists, and Joe Irvin, Chief Executive of Living Streets, about the issue of police enforcement of pavement cycling.

Note: contrary to the introduction by Mr Mair, the origin of Stop Killing Cyclists was to build a peaceful but more radical approach to fighting for safer infrastructure for all of the city’s road users; and last November it was part of the Stop The Killing coalition calling making 10 Demands, one of which is Stop the Killing of Pedestrians.

In the programme, Donnachadh said:

What the policeman should have done was praise the parent for teaching the child to cycle in a non-dangerous way in a safe environment.

He continued,

It isn’t a conflict between cyclists and pedestrians that we really have in this country. It is a conflict between cyclists and pedestrians [together] and the HGV road users.

Donnachadh concluded,

The real problem in the UK is our politicians are refusing to invest in cycling safety: in Britain we spend £2 per person per year, in [the Netherlands] they spend £28. If we spent that on creating a network of physically protected, safe cycle routes across Britain then we wouldn’t be having this conflict between cyclists and pedestrians, we’d be on the same side.

Joe said:

The root of the problem is unsafe roads, and things like bringing down maximum speeds to 20mph in urban areas would be a big move in the right direction. It’s no doubt at all that HGVs and cars are the biggest [cause] of deaths and fatalities and that’s for people on the pavement.

On 9th January 2014, Robert Goodwill MP wrote to Donnachadh McCarthy to follow-up on points raised during a meeting he had with Baroness Susan Kramer earlier. In the letter, Mr Goodwill re-issued Ministerial Guidance on Pavement Cycling.

Some of the statistics highlighted by Donnachadh during the program are noted by the CTC in their briefing document: PEDESTRIANS.

  • In the 4 years 2009 to 2013, there was 1 pedestrian death involving a person cycling on the pavement or verge;
  • Whereas each year, on average, there were 34 pedestrians killed by vehicles.
  • That 1 death statistic rises to 14 when deaths anywhere are considered, for example on the road, when a person walks in front of person cycling;
  • And, the 34 deaths statistic rises to 1,245 when you consider pedestrians killed by people driving motorcars anywhere, not just on the pavement or verge.
  • For 2009-2013, the number of people walking who are seriously injured by person riding bicycle was 334;
  • Whereas, there were 20,181 seriously injured by a person driving a motor vehicle.

Listen to the Interview for a limited time on iPlayer; or on YouTube: BBC Radio 4 PM with Eddie Mair: Interview of Donnachadh McCarthy

Stop Killing Cyclists featured on Channel4 national TV with Jon Snow

Screenshot of Channel4 interview of Nicola Branch and LTDA by Jon Snow
Jon Snow (centre) interviews Nicola Branch (right) and Steve McNamara (left) on Channel4 television.

On 4th March 2015, popular Channel4 TV presenter Jon Snow interviewed Nicola Branch of Stop Killing Cyclists, a co-organiser of Monday’s protest, vigil and die-in at Westminster City Hall. (Video is embedded below).

Nicola stated,

I want protected cycleways which is slightly different [to segregated cycleways]. I want the model they have in Holland [The Netherlands].

Screenshot of Channel4 interview of Nicola Branch (with SKC title)
Nicola Branch was a co-organiser of Monday’s protest, vigil and die-in at Westminster City Hall.

Also in the studio was Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA). In January, Mr McNamara stated on BBC London radio that his organisation is against the “Crossrail for Bikes” Cycle Superhighways across central London:

“We’re against it, lots of businesses are against it. We are considering a Judicial Review against the scheme in conjunction with Canary Wharf and others.”

Last night, Mr McNamara stated that he and his LTDA members are in favour of segregated cycleways but not money being spent on building them:

We are all for segregated cycling lanes, my members want segregated cycling [but] The Mayor is spending £1bn of money he hasn’t got in London on cycling, we questioned that.”

He continued,

The fundamental problem is [that] London is the greatest city on the planet – you cannot implement a system in London identical to the one in Amsterdam – systems that work there won’t work in London, we haven’t got the road space for one…

REACTION

Andrew D Smith, a speaker at Monday’s protest, stated today,

When LTDA say they want “segregated lanes” they mean the maze of disconnected fragments on back streets that don’t go anywhere, disappear at junctions so few people want to use them. The moment there’s a proposal for protected lanes that go somewhere useful – like Victoria Embankment or Elephant to Kings Cross, the LTDA fight it tooth and nail.

Campaigning group CyclingWorks.London has stated that over 170 London employers support the Cycle Superhighways scheme.

Jon Klaff, a member of Stop Killing Cyclists, commented on Facebook that, “Steve needs to go to Amsterdam when he comments on lack of road space. He might notice the big, wet things in the middle called ‘canals’. Amsterdam has less space than London. Then he brings up New York, a city that is on the verge of being redesigned around the bike. Basically, he has no facts and lots of opinions.

Donnachadh McCarthy, co-founder of Stop Killing Cyclists told BBC News on Monday at the protest,

Westminster Council has spent ZERO on protected cycle lanes over the last 5 years; And what we want is 10% of the budget spent on protecting people cycling to work and school. We are not asking for more money to be spent on transport – we asking for 10% of the existing budget to be spent on cycling.

INVITATION

Nicola concluded the interview with an invitation,

I would like Steve to come cycling with me but I think Steve is too scared to come cycling with me – many people are too scared to go cycling.

Later in the evening, Nicola tweeted that her invitation had been accepted,

Steve agreed to cycle round Elephant & Castle [with] a hand shake & witnessed by @kemenzerem [Keme Nzerem, Correspondent, Channel 4 News]


Steve McNamara confirmed in an article published in the LTDA’s trade magazine ‘Taxi’, that: “the LTDA has already instructed its lawyers to prepare the grounds for a legal challenge by judicial review.”

The London Cycling Campaign stated on 29 January 2015: “the LTDA (represented by Bob Oddy) and the Canary Wharf Group (Peter Anderson) – sit on the TfL Board, which must ratify [the Cycle Superhighway’s] funding. Indeed, the Canary Wharf Group PLC already has form– being behind a damaging and inaccurate behind-the-scenes briefing against the superhighway proposals.”

In the same issue of ‘Taxi’, the LTDA reaffirmed its policies which include: ‘a complete ban on pedicabs‘; and, ‘taxi access to all bus lanes‘. Ed.Note: people who choose to cycle are permitted to do so in many of London’s bus lanes.

Jon Snow is also president of CTC, and has promoted their Space4Cycling campaign.

You can watch the full interview here (it was preceded by Keme Nzerem’s report): Nicola Branch debates with LTDA on Channel 4