Cycling safety: Justice for Aiden, plus Linda on Radio WM

Just a quick note to point out that Aiden McHaffie, the keen cyclist currently nursing a broken wing after being involved in an accident in Birmingham, seems to be receiving some justice at last. On Monday, I offered my opinion and reblogged Aiden’s story from his own journal, of how West Midlands Police had tried to blame him for an accident that clearly wasn’t his fault. The shoddy, lacklustre service he received from the police is sadly not an isolated experience, and Aiden’s story resonated with cyclists throughout the area.

The story was discussed on Birmingham Cyclist, and other forums. Readers of my blog commented, and were shocked, and as a result of a publicity push over social media, including Facebook, the police now seem to be revising their position. It’s very early days and I don’t want to jinx anything but it’s certainly looking better than before. I do hope the single person on Facebook who noted that they’d rather we shut up has learned something now. This is an example of the local online community uniting around a local issue and making its feelings felt. West Midlands Police – and indeed any other public-facing organisation – would do well to take note. The times have changed, and public relations is no longer a one-way medium. The community has a voice and will be heard.

As a result, Linda, Aiden’s partner, was interviewed on the Aidrian Goldberg show on Radio WM, as was Police Superintendent Shaun Russell, who both gave excellent accounts of themselves. You can listen to the recording below.

For users who can’t see the player, click here

I’d personally like to thank Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale, for yet again getting involved via twitter and weathering the storm, as well as all those who got involved. Thank you, folks.

At the same time as I was rather ineloquently ranting, noted sage of the local online community, The Plastic Hippo, was crafting a far better targeted, more considered polemic on the matter, and the Police and social media in general. As ever, the Professor Yaffle of Walsall nails it. Please read this, and digest it. The man is spot on.

The police ignore his words at their peril.

The Plastic Hippo. As deadly as an Exocet and as cuddly as a Boa Constrictor. To read his fantastic blog post on the subject, click the screenshot.

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9 Responses to Cycling safety: Justice for Aiden, plus Linda on Radio WM

  1. Thank you Bob…again, for this and all your help and support throughout the whole sorry saga. If it wasn’t for you ACC Marcus Beale would not have got involved, now for the third time and we wouldn’t have achieved a review. I’ll say no more for now either as we have to wait and I have to deal with the complaint but hopefully there will at least be a retraction of the erroneous statement that Aiden was somehow to blame for what happened to him.

    I would also like to say thank you to everyone else that has offered support and advice. We are both incredibly humbled by the how Walsall bloggers and twitterers have supported us and also the wider community too. Thank you everyone and most of all thank you Bob.

    • Mike Hawes says:

      I must say you came across superbly in the interview. It’s a shocking and sorry ate of affairs which on reading about and and reading Aidens blog has left me reeling with the unfairness and injustice of it all. It leaves me speechless really.

      Keep up the superb work on this matter, my thoughts are with you both .

  2. Chris Hill says:

    Social Media at it’s best.

  3. David Evans says:

    HI Linda,
    I would like to echo your thanks to Bob, and also wish Aiden a full and complete recovery
    David

  4. Thank you Mike and David. We’ll get him there, eventually.

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