Concern over violent attacks on Cape Town cyclists
Cape Town - Cape Town cyclists say they are riding in fear as criminals are increasingly targeting them for their expensive bicycles.
Now cyclists have called on authorities to patrol hot spots and local government to assist in erecting signage to warn them of potential danger.
Pedal Power Association chairperson Steve Hayward said attacks on cyclists had been on the radar for some time due to the value of bicycles.
“Since the Covid-19 lockdown, we have seen a huge increase in the amount of attacks across South Africa. What is of concern is the violent manner in which these occur. Deadly weapons are sometimes used when bikes and personal items are stolen. Criminals are aware that these bicycles are worth a lot of money,” he said.
Hayward said many cases have been reported to the association over the past three years. He said places including West Coast Cycle Lane, Bottelary Road, R 27 Cycle lane, R310 Helshoogte Road, Stellenbosch,Slangkop Road towards Ocean View, were identified as hot spots.
He said they have several recent incidents which occurred on weekly and mostly in the early morning.
“Faiek Davids was cycling along Steenberg Road close to the American Consulate in September when he was approached by a group of suspects, one attacked him and took his bike. He broke his ankle in the struggle and is still recovering. Faried Stemmet was attacked in September while riding in the Belgravia area. He was held at gunpoint, hit with a brick before they took his bike,” he said.
Brendon Stevens from the Pure Savage team was bike-jacked twice, the first time in July along the Stanhope Bridge, and earlier this month, when he was out cycling with a group of friends in the Ocean View area. He said a motor vehicle intentionally drove into him and took his damaged bike. The driver of the appeared to want to hit all five cyclists.
Stevens said after the two incidents he, has now decided not to ride parts of the peninsula that are known as hot spots like the Slangkop road section.
“We are looking at having a follow car now follow us on the morning rides when we ride around the peninsula to prevent cars from attacking riders,” he said.
Hayward said bicycle theft from vehicles and garages was also on the rise.
This as the Pinelands Community Policing Forum warns residents of bicycle theft in the area and requested residents to implement appropriate measures to secure their bicycles. The forum said between March and September, several cases of bicycle theft were reported, and that target locations were open carports, garages and storage sheds.
Hayward appealed to cyclists to report crime related incidents to find solutions. He also appealed to cyclists not to ride alone.