Police issue safety warning to riders after woman harassed out hacking

  • Police have issued a safety warning to riders after a woman was harassed out hacking in Honiton, Devon.

    Lucy Lee, 20, was riding after work last month at around 5.20pm (Tuesday 24 February) when she came across a man sat in the middle of the road.

    The man refused to move and began shouting at Miss Lee before following her down the road.

    “At first I thought he had fallen off his bike,” she told H&H. “Then he started shouting at me so I decided I would try to get past him, but he wouldn’t let me.

    “Eventually my horse pushed her way past, but he followed me and wouldn’t leave me alone.

    “He kept asking questions, like if I had work for him and where I was from.”

    The man followed Miss Lee’s 15.3hh bay mare for around a mile.

    “He kept pushing his bike into my horse and she was getting very worried.

    “I got to the turning before my house and refused to go any further as I didn’t want him to know where I lived. Eventually he left.

    It was very worrying. My parents were away on holiday at the time so it was just me and two jack russells — they’re not exactly guard dogs.”

    The following day the same man appeared at Miss Lee’s workplace, a turfing company two miles from her home, and asked if they had any job vacancies.

    Her boss asked him to leave and notified the police of both incidents.

    The officer said they wanted to speak to the man and advised Miss Lee to call 999 if she saw him again.

    Devon and Cornwall Police has since advised riders to take care when hacking alone.

    “You should always take standard safety precautions,” said police spokesman, Steve Grant.

    Make sure someone knows where you are going, your planned route and an approximate time you expect to return.”

    Mr Grant urged riders to ensure they always have a mobile phone on them and to report anything suspicious to the police by calling 101, or in case of an emergency, 999.

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