$50K Reward To Catch 'Immature' Pranksters Laying Traps For Cyclists
Victoria Police is stumping up cash to step up its hunt for people who have laid tacks on popular bicycle tracks in inner Melbourne.
A $50,000 reward was announced on Wednesday for any person with information which identifies or helps to catch the people responsible.
“As a community we can’t accept this sort of behaviour -- immature, ridiculous behaviour,” Assistant Commissioner Glenn Weir said.
Hundreds of bicycle tyres have been punctured and some cyclists have been seriously injured as a result of the tacks on Yarra Boulevard at Kew, according to police.
The Victorian state government has also kicked in $110,000 to fund two new mobile CCTV trailers, which will be stationed at opposite ends of the popular bicycle trail in Melbourne.
“Anyone taking part in anti-social or illegal behaviour is on notice. If you act up or cause trouble on Yarra Boulevard, you will be caught,” Victorian Minister for Crime Prevention Ben Carroll said.
Minutes after the announcement, local cyclist John Westland railroaded the event to air his opposition to the plan, calling it a "waste of money".
"When was the last attack reported? When was the last person attributed to falling off as a result of a puncture? I can't remember," he told reporters.
"We are probably trying to catch one person and we are going overboard to do that. It's clearly about an election."
Local Liberal MP Tim Smith was also taken aback by the announcement, reminding reporters the Federal Government had committed $5 million in this year's Budget to improve safety on Yarra Boulevard.
He called the "piddly" announcement from the state government a "drop in the ocean".
"The Federal Government has beaten them to it, the Liberal Party has beaten them to it. I have been calling on this for years and, frankly, where have they been?"
Yarra Boulevard is only one of several known tack hot spots across Melbourne, with police also investigating tack traps laid on popular bayside track, Beach Road.
Carroll said the CCTV camera trailers will be built and fully operational by the end of the year.
Featured image: 10 News First