There’s little better than taking to your bike on an autumn early evening – the road and trails clear, the wind running through your hair and a hint of warmth in the air.
It makes you feel free. But two boys in Manchester took to their mountain bikes for a different kind of freedom yesterday – fleeing a young offenders institute after being allowed out to take their cycling proficiency test.
The duo, aged 13 and 14, were serving custodial sentences at Barton Moss Secure Unit in Eccles, Manchester.
They were in a group of five juveniles from the unit taking their training under the supervision of five adults before making their escape.
The pair, convicted of robbery and assault respectively, are believed to have rode the seven-and-a-half miles to Manchester’s Victoria Station and got on a train.
But there was no sign of the boys when police checked the train.
Councillor Margaret Morris, Salford council’s lead member for children’s services, said: “The teenagers were taking part in a supervised course when it appears they made a ‘spur of the moment’ decision to abscond.
“We will of course look at whether anything more could have been done to prevent this, but our priority now is to work closely with the police to ensure the boys are found safe and well, as swiftly as possible.”
A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police added: “The boys were being supervised but managed to get away from the staff.
“Both boys are on mountain bikes, one riding a silver Claude Butler bike and the other is riding red Kote mountain bike. They are both serving custodial sentences at a secure care unit.”
Anyone who has information on the whereabouts of the boys should call police on 0161 872 5050 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.