Page last updated at 07:08 GMT, Thursday, 5 June 2008 08:08 UK

Cycle path attacks prompt patrols

Bike wheel
Some victims said the motive seemed to be violence, not theft

Police patrols have been stepped up on the Bristol to Bath cycle path after a spate of attacks on riders.

Officers said 14 assaults and robberies had been recorded on the track near Easton in the past seven days.

Local residents have begun a petition on the Bristol City Council website calling for better security.

Some victims said the motive was often just violence, as the offenders had no interest in their money or bikes after an assault.

Baseball bats

Cyclist Kai Paulden suffered three cracked ribs, a fractured cheek bone and a cut lip after being attacked on the path.

"I'd come out of the gym at St Pauls' sports centre and started to cycle home," he said.

"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."

Sally Reay, a volunteer coordinator for the Easton Arts Centre, started a petition urging better security after her sister and partner were ambushed by youths.

Police believe that some of the robberies may have been committed by the same individuals
Avon and Somerset Police spokesman

"My sister and her boyfriend were attacked by a gang of six to eight youths with baseball bats.

"They stole their bikes, but this didn't seem to be the point of the attack as the gang seemed more intent on beating them up than stealing anything."

Local councillor Abdul Malik said: "We need to increase the lighting, we need to look at CCTV cameras," he said.

"We need to make sure there are points where people can air their concerns, the police station is quite far from here, people who've been beaten up have to go home and then go to hospital."

A police spokesman said: "Police believe that some of the robberies may have been committed by the same individuals.

"However, at this stage there is nothing to suggest that a particular gang is responsible for all of the offences."

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