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Trail saboteur caught on camera in Belfast

Nicked!

A 67-year-old man has been cautioned after he was filmed sabotaging trails on Cavehill in Northern Ireland.

All pictures of previous sabotages: Steven Rainey

The man was captured on film by local riders after a ten year spate of trails being destroyed on the hill just outside Belfast. It’s unclear who has been responsible for the numerous trail sabotage attempts during this decade long spell but it’s concerning to think how many people could potentially have been involved in sabotaging trails throughout this time. The man cautioned was only observed on one occasion. The trails are not sanctioned however they have been tolerated by the local council due to their minimal impact.

When wire was discovered strung across one of the trails last year, a local group of riders crowd funded some wildlife cameras and, by the end of the week, were able to catch the saboteurs in action. It’s a case that echoes that of Tineke Kraal in the North Shore however she was given a much stronger sentence.

One of the riders involved, said: “A couple of us couldn’t tolerate it any more and decided to get evidence and report the saboteurs, we used cameras hidden trail cameras to leave up there and find out their routines. After the first week we had our first hit and then another.

“Once we knew the routines, we got up with a handheld and waited, the first day we got up we caught one of the guys pulling trees out onto the trails, this was around 07:00 – 08:00 during the week. Moving the cameras from one trail to the other (middle trail to the Astro Glide trail) We did the same thing, hit after hit on the hidden camera, up again the handheld and caught the guy digging up the kicker for a step down and moving big rocks onto the jump just after this step down.”

PSNI confirmed: “On 05 June 2017 Police received a report that objects had been placed on a trail in Cavehill Country Park in north Belfast.

“A 67 year old man received an adult caution and a file was forwarded to the Public Prosecution Service in respect of a 56 year old who directed no prosecution.”

While we respect the decision made by the court, it may be a bit lenient for our liking but hopefully it is enough to end the sabotage on Cavehill and mountain bikers can continue riding there safely.

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