A angry cyclist videotaped the moment he was stopped by London police officers and charged with a “public order offence” for cursing at an unmarked police car sitting in a bus lane.
From his helmet camera, he captured a four-minute conversation with officers in Wandsworth, London, during which one of them warned he may be “overrun” or “stabbed” for the vulgarity.
The police officer warned him, “You are in Wandsworth, where there are some very nasty individuals,” and “don’t think there aren’t people who will stab you for less than that.”
In the video, a biker with two small children was forced to pull out into traffic to escape a parked automobile in the bus lane, which normally gives priority to buses, cycles, and motorcycles.
After reportedly being blocked by a BMW, he pushed out onto the road as he passed the parked BMW and yelled, “Get out of the f***ing way!” as he passed.
However, the parked car quickly activated its police sirens and began to pursue him.
As the BMW drew up, the biker instantly stopped, smiled, and apologized to the officer who was exiting the car. I was unaware that you were an unmarked vehicle.
Before charging the rider of violating the law, the officer approached him. The second officer, the vehicle’s driver, likewise departed the vehicle to observe the interaction for almost one minute before returning.
The first officer stated, “Swearing in the street with your two young children.” You are perpetrating violations of public order with your children.
“How thoughtless and foolish! Now listen.
‘If we weren’t cops and we were the wrong type of people…if I overran you because we’re the wrong type of people, would you risk the lives of your children?’
The officer interrupted the cyclist’s response by saying, “Listen.” There are people out there who will pursue you if you curse at them. You do realize that, don’t you?
The cyclist responded, “But that’s illegal.”
The officer stated, “Well, street cursing is against the law. You just done it.
Do not believe that there are individuals who will stab you for less than that.
The cyclist acknowledged the officer’s argument, but stated that swearing was not unlawful.
The officer stated, “In a public setting where small children are present, swearing is prohibited. Section 5 of the Public Order Act applies. You can look it up online.
“It is a violation. And the penalty is a £100 fine. Worse, sir, you are cursing in front of your children; what kind of example are you setting?
The Public Order Act stipulates that it is illegal to use “threatening or abusive words or conduct… within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be harassed, alarmed, or distressed.”
The rider stated that swearing was ‘his choice’ and underlined that he was unaware the automobile was a police vehicle.
He said, “There are so many cyclists here. It is crucial that people do not [block] it.
Now that you’re doing a unique task, you have the authority to do so.
He said, “I chose to swear, and had you been someone else, I would have sworn as well.” I am unsure of how incorrect that is.
The officer, who turned his back on the bike while he spoke, stated, “It is a grave offense.” You are in Wandsworth, where there are some very unpleasant individuals.
And I see them fairly frequently… I must apprehend them. I have witnessed individuals assaulting others for being sworn at.
The biker claimed that he was ‘mad’ because he had to drive onto the main road to avoid the police car because a different BMW ‘wasn’t allowing me out’ despite ringing his bell.
The officer questioned whether or not that’matter[ed],’ to which the rider responded that he was in a ‘bike and pedestrian priority lane’
The officer questioned the rider’s ‘right’ to ‘simply pull out’ in front of a vehicle, stating that the bike had no legal authority to signal and enter the roadway.
The officer returned to the truck while the rider attempted to continue the conversation.
The biker, who admitted to being “agitated,” then stated, “It occurred, I emerged, and I passed you.”
“I was forced to do that solely because you were in the way. I was angry, so I cursed at you.
“And what do you know? I’d probably do it again, and I’d hope that no a**hole from Wandsworth would beat me up.’
The officer then returned to his vehicle, and the biker remarked that he admired their work and wished them a “good day.”
The Metropolitan Police Department has been reached for comment.