Cyclist thrown in cells – for having no light

Blackpool Police

Blackpool Police

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A shop manager has criticised police after he was arrested and put in custody – for not having lights on his pedal cycle.

Edward Copland, 38, found himself taken off the streets placed in a police car and processed by a custody sergeant before being put in the cells.

He was later released only receive a court summons through the post.

Mr Copland spoke out after stepping down from the dock at Blackpool Magistrates Court saying: ”What a complete waste of public money. It must have costs thousands in police and court time to put me through this.”

Mr Copland was on his way home from work when he was seen by police pedalling along Lytham Road. He was stopped and arrested.

Magistrates formally withdrew the case against him before he had the chance to plead guilty to the crime.

Crown Prosecutor Alison Quanbrough told the justices: “I must admit I was surprised to see this allegation brought to court. It would appear it was dark at the time and the defendant was wearing dark clothing. The police also say it was a dark coloured bike.

“However I do feel it is not in the public interest to continue and take this allegation any further.

“One does begin to wonder what is going on.”

Steven Duffy, defending, said: “I thank the Crown for showing common sense. There is great cause for concern that this man was arrested and processed through the cells because he did not have lights on his bike.”

Chairman of the bench Derek Jesson commented: “My colleagues and I were a little surprised when we saw this on our list.”

Outside court Mr Copland added: “OK I did not have the lights on - but the hour had just changed on the clocks normally it would have been light on my way home.”

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said Mr Copland was arrested and taken to a police station after he refused to provide his details.

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