Flat metal plates with inch long spikes sticking out and 18-inch metal poles spiked on one end have been recovered from Shortbank Moor on the edge of Skipton. The father of Pace Racing’s Chris Ackrigg found the devices after Chris had come home with more punctures than usual.
“They’re properly engineered”, said Chris, “made from long bars, half and inch thick with a Rawlpin welded in, then ground off to a point. They must have made a tool to put them in as well.”
Shortbank Moor is a popular place for mountain bikers, BMXers and trials motorcyclists. “Kids go up there and slide down the bankings”, says Chris, “These things are really sharp. They’d really stick into you and give a big gash.”
Investigating, local PC Chris Howarth who happens to be a mountain bikers, said they were so dangerous that if anybody fell on one of them it was likely they would sustain a punctured heart or lung. Eighteen of the traps have been recovered but more could have been laid or relaid.
PC Howarth said bikers on the land had been pulling them out of the ground for about a month now, but when they went back a week later they had been replaced. “Within a week someone is going up there and replacing them,” he said. He added that the police even feared for their own safety when they were looking for them. “They are really hard to spot as they are the same colour as the ground.”
So far the spikes have not been found on the actual footpath but they have been discovered just off it and in the adjacent woods.
PC Howarth, who is leading the investigation, said if residents saw anyone acting strangely in the area or burying things in the ground they should contact him immediately on 01756 793377.
Thanks to Craven Herald for this story.