Cyclists who use designated cycle routes at local beauty spots are being warned to be on the lookout for deadly and dangerous traps.
Eastbourne Police are investigating after a spate of incidents in Paradise Woods and Friston Forest in which lengths of fishing wire had been twisted together and tied between two trees across a bike track at neck level.
The latest incident was on Sunday June 23 in Paradise Woods when a vigilant cyclist spotted the trap. Police say if the cyclist hadn’t been able to stop in time, he could have suffered serious injuries. The cyclist removed the hazard and called police.
Chief Inspector Steve Biglands at Eastbourne Police said, “This incident is being treated seriously by officers as this reckless behaviour has potential
to cause significant injury.
“Officers have visited the scene and evidence has been taken for forensic examination.
“Signs are being placed in the area appealing for witnesses, and to advise bikers to be cautious, and to warn those responsible that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.”
While this is the first incident Eastbourne Police officers are aware of in the woods, CCTV options are now being looked into as the trails are used by cyclists of all ages from the young to more mature.
The woods are owned by Eastbourne Borough Council with an agreement in place for a section of the woods to be used for mountain biking.
The agreement includes responsible use by the bikers who maintain the specific routes for biking separate from the footpaths, and includes regular litter picks by the bikers to maintain good standards in the woods.
Chief Inspector Biglands said, “We should be encouraging the shared use of woods for all users in a safe and responsible way.
“The council has agreed its use and we will look to prosecute anyone intending to cause harm to others.
“If anyone saw persons acting suspiciously in the woods particularly with fishing line then please contact police on 101 and quote serial 1416 of 22/06/14.”
Wealden Police officers are also investigating in Friston Forest, once again believed to intend to cause harm to mountain bikers. A Wealden Police spokesperson said, “We are looking at tactics to capture those persons intent on causing harm.“