At 18:25 on the 18th of April 2017 I was on Green End Road in Cambridge making a film about new cycle lanes which had been painted on the road that day.
Someone came from behind me, grabbed my camera and tripod and ran off. What happened next can be seen on the video I am publishing here.
I chased after the person who had taken the camera. They reached an alley off Scotland Road, signed Dundee Close, where they smashed my camera against the wall. The camera was extensively damaged and no longer works. My camera battery was lost.
The person who took the camera made as if to start coming towards me but, perhaps on seeing I was recording what was happening on my phone, walked off.
I have reported what happened to the police but as yet there is no sign of them taking an interest and investigating. Given this person’s behaviour, if not challenged they could go on and rob others; next time it might not just be my filming equipment facing the wrath of their violence.
I suspect what happened was an opportunist attempted theft; but there is a chance it could have been motivated politically, perhaps in opposition to my filming and reporting. Perhaps the police will find out.
I am now left without my usual equipment which I put significant personal investment into, and have been using for many years to report, and lobby, on a range of matters including seeking to tackle violent crime, improve our local health services, help people find appropriate places to live and make it safer and easier to get around the city.
Engaging with how we run our society is often challenging but this is the first time I’ve faced behaviour like this.
The film I was making draws attention to a Greater Cambridge City Deal decision to allow parking in new cycle lanes; it can be viewed on YouTube.
If anyone wants to donate towards some replacement equipment they are welcome to get in touch.
I am happy for the others to embed my YouTube video from the event.