Met Police respond after officer stops black cyclist and says riding without a helmet or licence plate is ‘anti-social behaviour’

Video is circulating online showing the altercation

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The Metropolitan Police has issued a response after a black cyclist was stopped by officers and told riding without a helmet or licence plate is ‘anti-social behaviour.

Video of the interaction was shared on social media on June 30, prompting complaints from a number of people on social media.

The Met has since confirmed it has received a public complaint over the incident and will be investigating.

Footage, filmed by the unnamed cyclist himself and originally on Snapchat, shows the cyclist questioning why he was stopped with five police officers visible.

The rider then asked an officer “does this look anti-social to you?”

In response, the officer said: “The way you’re cycling around yes. You’re in and out of the road, on the pavement, you’re not wearing a helmet, not got your licence plate, not wearing a hi-vis.”

The cyclist then responds: “So everyone not wearing a helmet is anti-social when they’re riding a bike?”

According to the Met, the incident happened at around 8.30pm on Tuesday, June 30 in Upney Road, Barking.

The force said: “Officers on patrol noticed a male riding his pushbike on the pavement in Upney Road.

“Officers approached him and stopped him to discuss the manner of his cycling. He was asked where he was going and he said he was going home.

“The man was not searched, was not arrested and after a short time he was allowed on his way.”

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The spokesperson for the Met added: “Police are aware of a video circulating on social media showing an officer providing advice to the man. We will speak to the officer to understand the full circumstances of the entire interaction and the advice that was given.

“A public complaint has been recorded and this will be assessed by the Met’s Department of Professional Standards.”

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.