I came across this interesting blog posting. Was anyone else at this
meeting? Councillors don't seem to have a clear idea of what the situation
is, and I for one wasn't aware that Rangers now seem to have some kind of
cycle enforcement role.
Powers of City Rangers to Stop Cyclists
I asked if City Rangers had been given the power to stop cyclists, this
follows a statement on page ten of the Neighbourhood Profile presented to
the September West Central Area Committee saying:
1040 reports of antisocial cycling occurred between April and July.
Most of these occurred in Trinity Street (249), Sidney Street (230) and
Bridge Street (221). These figures are provided by the City Rangers
service and relate to the number of occasions a City Ranger has stopped
and spoken to an individual cycling anti-socially.
Cllr Rupert Moss-Eccardt responded first saying that there was general
drive from central government to .Enhance the extended policing family. he
said: .anyone who works for any public body will get some powers.. He
suggested we were unstoppable slippery slope to a position such as that
seen in the USA, where he said the people who take driving tests are
considered .Federal Officers. and as such carry firearms. Cllr Rupert
Moss-Eccardt described this general trend as an .unfortunate development..
He had nothing to say on the specific question of the powers of Cambridge
City Council Rangers.
Cllr Ward proudly introduced himself as the: .Chair of the Ranger Steering
Group.. He stated that the City council had come under pressure from the
Home Office to have quite a different Ranger Service than they have at the
moment, implying that the council had done well so far to keep its Rangers
from doing things like stopping cyclists. He drew attention to the green
sweatshirt uniform which he said was unlike those used elsewhere which had
rangers looking more like say traffic wardens. He stated the rangers:
.were reluctant to be seen as enforcers.. Cllr Ward, despite being the
Chair of the Ranger Steering Group did not answer the question of if the
Rangers had been given the power to stop cyclists.
Cllr Upstone spoke to say that the Rangers could act just like any other
member of the public, and any member of the public could stop someone
cycling anti-socially, for example the wrong way down a one way street.
I interjected here, I wanted to make clear that what the Rangers were
doing was not on an informal basis as I felt he was implying, I noted the
numbers involved were around 1000 stops, as reported to the West Central
Area Committee and this implied it was not informal, I also noted the fact
they were keeping accurate detailed statistics implied they were not
simply acting as member.s of the public, they appeared to have been
directed to carry out these stops as part of their work.
Cllr Ward dismissed my comment on .collecting statistics. saying .Rangers
collect statistics on everything they do..
A number of councillors appeared to have been conferring at this point and
a number of them, including Cllr Blair asked what the problem was with
Rangers doing this, they asked why it was any different to a PCSO stopping
I took the microphone and addressed the committee again. I explained one
question I had, which councillors had not been able to answer was: Did I
have to stop for a City Ranger? I explained I had to stop for a PCSO
because they had powers under the Road Traffic Act to stop cycles, If I
ignored them there would be potentially be all sorts of consequences. I
wanted to know if Rangers had been given such a power under the scheme
known as : .Powers for Accredited Persons..
There was a national audit in August 2008 run by the Home Office.
Cambridgeshire Police.s response to that was that the only accredited
persons were two Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) officers
given powers to stop vehicles for testing. I wanted to know if the
situation had now changed.
If the answer was that Rangers had not been given the power to stop
cyclists I wanted to know what councillors thought of them doing it
If Rangers did have the power had councillors been involved in the
decision to give them this power, and if they thought it was a good idea.
I also suggested if this power had been given there was a need to
publicise the fact.
In either case I asked councillors how they thought this might affect the
public perception of the City Rangers specifically and also the perception
of other Council Staff.
Cllr Nimmo-Smith then spoke. He started on a slightly irrelevant point
relating mainly to a previous discussion; he said he would like to see
PCSOs being given more powers so they could for example deal with people
parking on verges. (I have been trying to find out exactly what powers
PCSOs have in Cambridge, something which has proved shockingly difficult.
). Cllr Nimmo-Smith then gave me an assurance that he would find out what
the situation was with respect to the City Rangers, and would write to me.
I'm curious to know why the word "anti-social" was used here, instead of
Perhaps a symptom of the Rangers not having any "powers" as such (the
Cllr Upstone position) so they can't accuse the cyclists of breaking the
law and them be powerless to stop them waving two fingers and carrying
on their way?
> I asked if City Rangers had been given the power to stop cyclists,
> this follows a statement on page ten of the Neighbourhood Profile
> presented to the September West Central Area Committee saying:
> Cllr Rupert Moss-Eccardt responded first saying that there was
I think the blogger means the North Area Committee. Rupert doesn't attend
Presumably to include both cycling the wrong way down one way streets,
and cycling in the correct direction but at dangerous speeds?
I asked my local councillors, at the October North Area Committee,
about City Council Rangers stopping cyclists. I drew the North Area
Committee's attention to a quote from the neighborhood profile which
had been presented to the September West/Central Area committee (which
I attended) as this clearly stated Rangers had been stopping
This is how it came about that Cllr Rupert Moss-Eccardt, a member of
the North Area Committee, ended up responding to a report presented to
the West/Central Area Committee. I am aware Cllr Moss-Eccardt does not
attend the West/Central meeting.
I hope that clears up the confusion. I believe the whole exchange is
clearly described in my original article (http://www.rtaylor.co.uk/
october-2008-north-area-committee-cambridge.html) from which the
excerpt extracted by Martin was taken.
> On Oct 13, 2:47 pm, Simon Morris <sim...@iptech.no.spam.demon.co.uk>
>> Martin wrote on 13/10/2008 14:41
>> I'm curious to know why the word "anti-social" was used here, instead of
> Presumably to include both cycling the wrong way down one way streets,
> and cycling in the correct direction but at dangerous speeds?
If it was "dangerous" then it would be illegal...
Actually Richard didn't ask the question he claimed he did. He actually
asked about an article in the local news. So I didn't respond to the
report, I responded to his question.
Of course Richard has demonstrated familiarity with PACE and would
realise that almost anyone now has the power of arrest and, indeed,
we've done that before in cam.*
Actually, if they had committed a criminal offence, then the Rangers
have the power of arrest, along with almost anyone else.
Has this been tested in the current climate? I see people doing illegal
things very frequently, but I'm not sure the local plod would be very
enthusiastic about me arresting the offenders every time. After I've
arrested them, what happens next? Do I need a private prison to keep
them 'on remand' awaiting my private prosecution?
They were perfectly happy last time I arrested someone.
> After I've arrested them, what happens next? Do I need a private prison to
> keep them 'on remand' awaiting my private prosecution?
I and a couple of neighbours persuaded the criminal to stay sitting quietly
on the ground until the police arrived and took him way.. The fact that one
of the neighbours happened to be wielding a garden spade which he had been
using to dig the garden at the time of the arrest possibly helped. After you
have arrested someone and the police have taken them away it's then up to
the police and the CPS whether they get prosecuted, and how to hold them in
remand as necessary. Of course as the arresting citizen you never actually
get told what happened.
> every time.
Well, if you did it *every* time I expect they'd eventually get bored with
And do you recommend that next time I see someone parking on the
pavement near my house?
You want legal advice that's worth anything you pay your own lawyer. I
rather suspect that things like "reasonableness" and "proportionality" come
into it but I could be completely wrong.
My question to councillors at the North Area Committee was simply
asking what the powers of Rangers were with respect to them stopping
I used the report to the West/Central Area committee to give evidence
that the Rangers were in fact stopping cyclists.
I did not cite the Cambridge Evening News article until later, well
after Rupert Moss-Eccardt had responded. I mentioned it in response to
councillors questioning why it mattered if Rangers were stopping
cyclists. I used the CEN article primarily to demonstrate public
interest in the subject. I was involved in alerting the CEN to the
fact Rangers were stopping cyclists, their reporter then uncovered
more details of what they have been doing and what is planned.
Rupert Moss-Eccardt and my other local councillors advanced notice of
my question, I wrote to them on the 6th of October. The North Area
Committee, and publication of the CEN article both occurred on the
9th. My question was not about the CEN article or prompted by it. My
reference to the article was largely incidental, and came after the
first round of responses from councillors to my original question.
I have made my submission to my local councillors available online:
Cllr Ward, the Chair of the Ranger Steering Group, has contributed to
this thread, but has not answered the key question of if Rangers have
the power to stop cyclists.
If no formal powers have been designated then it raises the question
of if it is acceptable for Rangers to be conducting these stops
If Rangers have been given police powers then councillors and the
public clearly need to be properly informed about the extent of those
powers and how they came to be delegated.
Because I didn't know for certain (I was pretty sure they didn't, but didn't
want to say so until I had confirmation). I have now heard back on this
point, just a few hours ago, and I am told that the Rangers have the same
powers to stop people and tell them off for misbehaving as your or I have;
no formal powers have been delegated to them. A cyclist who is told off by a
Ranger for cycling the wrong way down a one way road need take no more
notice than they do of me when I tell them off (which is pretty well every
time I have occasion to cycle round the city centre triangle).
(PCSO powers, which somebody brought into the discussion at some point, are
rather more complicated - they have specific delegated powers to stop
cyclists and tell them off for some things, but for other "offences" their
powers are the same as yours or mine or the Rangers'.)
On Tue, 14 Oct 2008, Tim Ward wrote:
> I am told that the Rangers have the same powers to stop people and tell
> them off for misbehaving as your or I have; no formal powers have been
> delegated to them.
It seems odd that they should be enumerating counts of such cyclists then.
Are they allowed to deal with motorists who have driven onto the pavement,
which IMO is just as big a nuisance as cyclists riding anti-socially or
illegally, and have they been counting such instances? If not, on what
basis is it decided what they should and shouldn't deal with or count?
The concept of 'arrestable' or not went in the Serious and Organised
Crime and Policing Act. Or to look at it another way, they are all
"arrestable" now. We did this at the time.
And haven't we done "parking on pavements" many times? AIUI it's not
illegal per-se, though driving on a pavement is. "You mean you missed
the truck which just lowered my car into that position, that was not
very observant of you was it?" :-(
Real email address |
is mark at | Never test the depth of the water with both feet.
ayliffe dot org |
parkING - present tense
>>>on the pavement near my house?
>And haven't we done "parking on pavements" many times? AIUI it's not
>illegal per-se, though driving on a pavement is. "You mean you missed
>the truck which just lowered my car into that position, that was not
>very observant of you was it?" :-(
The point being: I would arrest the person as they were getting out of
the car, so that particular argument would be fruitless.
Vigilantes are OK, just as long as they are wearing a uniform given to
them by the council.
Wouldn't that constituent Common Assault? The arrestee felt in fear of
immediate violence from the spade-wielder.
If so, I guess he could have arrested him too, which would really
confused the attending officer. :)
>> ITYM an arrestable offence, which is a subset of criminal offences.
>> I can't remember which ones are criminal but not arrestable though.
> Err. No.
> The concept of 'arrestable' or not went in the Serious and Organised
> Crime and Policing Act. Or to look at it another way, they are all
> "arrestable" now. We did this at the time.
Yes, I presume that the gubmint felt that it could complete the NDNAD
more quickly if it could increase the proportion of arrestable offences.
On Wed, 15 Oct 2008, Phil W Lee wrote:
> as the actual offence would be driving on the footway, which is fairly
Try telling the police that.
Apparently all offences are now arrestable, and the goalposts you are
probably referring to moved to "indictable" offences.
I thought that recent legislation (SOCA I think) had significantly
curtailed the general power of arrest.
f.anthony.n.finch <d...@dotat.at> http://dotat.at/
FORTIES CROMARTY FORTH: WEST OR SOUTHWEST 4 OR 5, INCREASING 5 TO 7, BECOMING
CYCLONIC FOR A TIME IN FORTIES. SLIGHT OR MODERATE, OCCASIONALLY ROUGH AT
FIRST IN FORTIES. SHOWERS, RAIN LATER. MODERATE OR GOOD.
If the Police stop you they have to issue a Stop and Account form,
presumably for good reasons of public accountability. Do the Rangers
issue such forms as well?
When I was stopped by a crazed constable (last year IIRC), they spent
about 5 minutes filling in one of those ridiculous forms so they could
give it to me. This was a significant distraction from the
almost-foam-specked rant that the officer was delivering.
Now I'm not normally one to go lax on police accountability but surely
there must be some way to achieve these objectives without such a
terrible waste of time ?
(I complained about the idiot copper and got a very nice apology in
person from an Inspector who I think was the crazy's boss's boss.)
When I've been stopped by police actually doing their jobs, I've not
been given any form. For example, when I was cycling up Gilbert Road
at 11pm on a Saturday with two bikes one of which was a bit of a
wreck. They had suspected me of having stolen one or the other.
After we got that cleared up I thanked them for doing their job and we
went on our respective ways.
Ian Jackson personal email: <ijac...@chiark.greenend.org.uk>
These opinions are my own. http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~ijackson/
PGP2 key 1024R/0x23f5addb, fingerprint 5906F687 BD03ACAD 0D8E602E FCF37657
Except in some areas where they are stopping doing this because the Home
Office wants them to spend more time boiling the knife crime frog.
>Do the Rangers issue such forms as well?
As they apparently don't have powers to stop people, probably not.
>Roland Perry <rol...@perry.co.uk> considered Wed, 15 Oct 2008 09:44:12
>+0100 the perfect time to write:
>I doubt if pavement parking is an arrestable offence, but it may be
>worth looking it up, as the actual offence would be driving on the
>footway, which is fairly serious.
This is from the fine legal mind which brought us:
Commenting on a legal gate in a public park: I'd think it comes under
the heading of "causing an obstruction", and should be investigated by
the police as such. (Phil Anchor Lee)
Not at all. As I said at the NAC, they appear to record every little thing
they do on their timesheets. It would be odd if they were doing anything at
all and *not* counting it.
I suspect it came within reasonable force to enforce the arrest. Whatever,
the perp didn't complain and the police didn't arrest the neighbour.
Sort of. My kid and his mates got stopped and searched. The police found
nothing and told them to piss off.
"Shouldn't you give us yellow forms?" the kids asked.
"Sure," said the policeman, "there's eight of you, at fifteen minutes per
form that'll take me two hours, I'll just get my pencil out."
Needless to say the kids decided they could manage without the forms.
Yes, there probably is, but not with the police involved.
The idea of 'Stop and Account' came out of the Lawrence Inquiry which
looked into why it wasn't possible for the Met to investigate
effectively. Apart from the 'institutional racism' there was a general
perception that the problem extended to targeting of minorities for no
other reason that the ease of identifying them.
The idea was to measure the number of stops to get an idea of whether or
not a bias exists. Of course, the Home Office took the idea and made it
a miracle of useless form filling. Voila! They've fulfilled a
recommendation but avoided any useful data being generated.
I could write a bit about why the police get themselves into these
problems but time is short at the moment. Sorry.
> When I've been stopped by police actually doing their jobs, I've not
> been given any form. For example, when I was cycling up Gilbert Road
> at 11pm on a Saturday with two bikes one of which was a bit of a
> wreck. They had suspected me of having stolen one or the other.
> After we got that cleared up I thanked them for doing their job and we
> went on our respective ways.
Now we have the whole 'knife crime' hysteria, TPTB need to be seen to be
doing something. At the same time our very own Ronnie Flanaghan reported
on all the time wasted filling in forms. So, the Home Office suggested a
number of forces 'piloted' not doing stop and account forms but
recording the encounters in other ways. Cambridgeshire were not part of
the pilot but chose to do an experiment of its own. Apparently the
experiment was a success but I can't find any criteria against which it
was measured. Although the pilot is over no-one is clear what is
actually happening on the ground now.
"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has
George Bernard Shaw
You are right, according to PACE code A the police do have to issue
Stop and Account forms (or an equivalent). However Cambridgeshire
police have decided that following the PACE codes is voluntary. The
PACE codes are approved by both houses of Parliament.
This is very worrying as they have decided they don't have to take any
notice of the key safeguards which ensure they treat people properly
when they are stopped, searched, questioned and detained.
The latest development on this is that the member of the PACE review
committee who I alerted to the problem in Cambridgeshire is seeking a
ministerial statement making it clear it is not permissible for forces
to go their own way in regard to the PACE Codes. I would hope
Cambridgeshire police would change their practices in response to such
More on this subject is available at:
Following PACE codes are not mandatory. Failure to follow them does
have negative consequences. For example, it might make a prosecution
less safe as any evidence gathered becomes more easily challenged and
loses probative value. The next HMIC report might be negative.
> This is very worrying as they have decided they don't have to take any
> notice of the key safeguards which ensure they treat people properly
> when they are stopped, searched, questioned and detained.
> The latest development on this is that the member of the PACE review
> committee who I alerted to the problem in Cambridgeshire is seeking a
> ministerial statement making it clear it is not permissible for forces
> to go their own way in regard to the PACE Codes. I would hope
> Cambridgeshire police would change their practices in response to such
> a statement.
I'll be interested to see what happens as I don't believe there is any
such power available to a minister. But we'll see. Perhaps this is the
thing that will reduce the power of ACPO.
> I thought that recent legislation (SOCA I think) had significantly
> curtailed the general power of arrest.
It changed the rules so that a citizen could arrest some for any
indictable offence. I am not a lawyer but from a quick reading on this
yesterday that normally means offences which could lead to a jury
trial but in this country includes "either way" offences which can be
tried at either a magistrates' court or before a jury i.e. pretty much
anything in theory.
Paul Oldham ----------> http://the-hug.org/paul
Milton villager ------> http://www.miltonvillage.org.uk/
and FAQ wiki owner ---> http://cam.misc.org.uk
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Many of the sites are less than 2 metres wide.
You know, my response would be "I'll wait..."...
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