US police slammed for creating portal for public to upload photos and videos of teenagers on bicycles in antisocial ways
A police department in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania has come under heavy criticism on social media for deploying a portal that allows people to upload photos and videos of young cyclists suspected of riding antisocially by pulling on wheels and pulling themselves together. weaving through traffic.
The portal, hosted on the Bucks County page of the Crimewatch Pennsylvania website, comes from the Bensalem Township Police Force, which borders the northeastern end of Philadelphia and is home to about 60,000 people.
Portal announcement on his Facebook pagePolice in Bensalem Township said they “had received numerous complaints about cyclists obstructing traffic and causing problems on township roads. The Springdale Drive and Wexford Road area has been the hotspot for this type of activity.
“We are committed to solving these problems in a way that thwarts this activity but also ensures the safety of our cyclists.
“Bensalem police have created a portal where you can upload photos and videos of these cyclists. Once we receive your submissions, we will investigate, identify and cite these individuals with the appropriate traffic violations.
“This portal should only be used to upload photos and / or videos of cyclists causing traffic problems in the canton of Bensalem.
“Please securely obtain photographs or videos of cyclists’ faces and bikes so that they can be identified.
“If the actions of cyclists cause serious problems that require immediate attention, please call 9-1-1 and report the incident so that an agent can be dispatched to your location.”
They added, “Bensalem Township police urge you not to put yourself or the cyclists in a dangerous position to obtain this evidence.”
While some comments on the Facebook page were in favor of launching the portal, others pointed out that efforts would be better directed against drivers who break the law, with one user asking, “When are you going to create a portal to submit videos?” on-board cameras on vehicles committing traffic violations? You should be able to investigate and issue quotes for these as well, right? “
On its website, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation sets rules and guidance for riding a bicycle on public roads, but several responses to Bensalem Township police pointed to the risk of any cycling being considered criminal behavior. .
A Facebook user also pointed out that the action of the police department could encourage some motorists to take matters into their own hands, saying: “When one of these good citizens is outraged by children on a bicycle and feels emboldened by the police because the police criminalize riding a bicycle and saying that the citizen takes the law in hand and hits one of these children, can the City be held responsible for incitement? Not to mention encouraging people to take photos and videos while driving. “
One of the comments on Facebook highlighted potential backup issues, asking, “Do police encourage foreign adults to take photos of unaccompanied minors? It’s pretty scary IMO. “
Among the favorable comments was one stressing that it was better for photos or videos to be sent directly to the police rather than shared online: “Thanks for addressing the issue,” he said. “Parents are on the defensive when photos are posted directly on social media. This solution should curb repeat offenders. “
Among those who criticized the initiative on Twitter, one of the largest cycling campaign groups in the United States, the League of American Bicyclists, said: “Cycling is not a crime and the criminalization of cyclists is not a crime. will not make the streets safer.
He also posted a link to a YouTube video this explains how “the over-policing of people who cycle and walk understands types of self-deputy by community members.”
Cycling is not a crime and criminalizing cyclists will not make the streets safer.
Republication @ ctbrown1911of #ArrestedMobility keynote again because the excessive control of people cycling and walking includes types of self-representation by community members. https://t.co/QuEwdfPF1q https://t.co/Kgyz7NIKZe
– League of American Cyclists (@BikeLeague) April 26, 2021
This is the third story we’ve seen in different parts of the United States of how police departments deal with the supposed problem of groups of young people biking on roads while performing tricks.
On Thursday, we reported how police in Perth Amboy, a New Jersey town that is part of the New York metro area, handcuffed a black teenager and confiscated bikes from him and his friends for pulling wheels.
> Video: American cops handcuff black teenage girl and confiscate bikes… for pulling wheelies
Images also emerged last week of a cyclist in Orlando, Florida posting videos of his Tik Tok cycling tours being ordered to get off his bike at gunpoint by police and lie on the floor.
Officers reportedly believed that Ian Adams and the friend he was riding with may have been suspected of a nearby theft, but Orlando Weekly Reports that when they brought the victim to the scene, they were told that the two cyclists were not the men they were looking for.