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Just 3% of Olympic cycling arrests result in convictions

Five of the 182 cyclists arrested at last July’s Critical Mass bike ride in east London (PN 2549) were convicted at Westminster magistrates’ court on 14 March. Only nine out of the 182 had been prosecuted; charges were dropped against three and one was found not guilty by district judge Elizabeth Roscoe.

The five who were convicted were found guilty of disobeying a section 12 order (conditions on public processions) under the public order act (1986).

The five were not fined. They received nine-month conditional discharges and were ordered to pay £300 each in costs.

The 182 cyclists were arrested for allegedly protesting against the London Olympics, with the police saying that the procession would cause ‘serious disruption.’

Critical Mass bicycle rides are a known phenomenon in cities across the globe, non-hierarchical actions in which large numbers of people meet in a pre-determined location and time and cycle together.

While some have viewed these cycle processions as acts of protest, Critical Mass has no official political stance, with everyone coming to the events for their own reasons.