A four-year-old girl who was cycling her princess bike to school was left in tears when a police officer threatened to confiscate it – because she was riding on the PAVEMENT.
Little Sophie Lindley had a helmet on and was riding her 16-inch purple bicycle with stabilisers by the side of a busy main road when a patrol car pulled up.
Her dad Dale, 34, was shocked when the officer threatened to seize the bike if Sophie continued riding it along the path.
Shockingly, the officer even sat in the patrol car and watched Dale struggle with the bike and a sobbing Sophie as he walked a mile up a steep hill to her school.
Yesterday (Tue) ex-serviceman Dale stormed: “I was gobsmacked when the officer pulled over and threatened to confiscate Sophie’s bike.
“He said to me ‘She can’t be riding on a pavement, it’s breaking the law.’
“At first I thought he was joking but he looked deadly serious. I said ‘You must be kidding. What do you want me to do, make her ride on the busy road? It’s rush hour.’
“He just shrugged and said ‘Look, she must get off the bike and walk and I’m going to sit here and make sure you don’t put her back on it. If you do, I’ll confiscate the bike.’
“I ended up carrying Sophie, who was in floods of tears, in one hand, the bike in the other and walked up the hill to school.
“By the time I got her into class she was so upset a teacher had to calm her down.
“Poor thing thought she was going to be put in jail. I’m absolutely outraged that a policeman can act in this way.
“The path was totally empty and we walk along it every day. Sophie likes to cycle on her bike. She’s got a little saddle on the back which she puts her dolly in.
“We always make sure she wears a helmet and I put a lead on the bike which I hold to make sure she doesn’t shoot off.
“We try and cycle to school whenever it’s a nice day, it’s good exercise for Sophie and she loves it.
“We’d just stopped at the duck pond and were about a mile away from the school when this all happened.
“We don’t have a car, and it’s almost two miles to the school. She can’t walk that with her little legs, which is why she’s always had thebike.
“Sophie was gutted. Surely the police have better things to do than pick on parents taking their kids to school.”
The pair were pulled over as they made their way from their home in Grantham, Lincs., to The West Grantham Academy in the town on March 2.
Dale’s partner and Sophie’s mum Emma Stephenson, 33, added: “When Dale came home and told me what had happened I couldn’t believe it.
“How on earth is my daughter riding her little bike with stabilisers to school a criminal offence? Surely there needs to be some common sense applied.”
The couple, who have three other children, Liam, 12, 18-month-old John, and five-and-a-half-month-old Rose, called the police to complain.
Full-time mum Emma added: “One police officer I spoke to said the law applied to everyone – no-one can ride a bike on the pavement.
“But another said it shouldn’t have happened, as it’s different with children.
“You can’t expect a four-year-old to ride in the road, it’s not exactly safe. And she has the lead and wears a helmet.”
Lincolnshire Police have not yet identified any police officer involved, but said they are investigating.
A force spokesman said: “Safety is our priority and cycling on the pavement is illegal.
“However, common sense obviously prevails and in the case of young children, officers would use their discretion and offer the most appropriate advice for the circumstances.”