Woman 'petrified' after man aggressively confronted her on her bike after Cardiff Lewis Capaldi gig
A woman was left "petrified, visibly shaking and unable to speak" after a man confronted her while she was on her bike in Cardiff city centre.
Climate activist Clare James was cycling down Castle Street on Thursday night, when a man grabbed the 49-year-old’s bike, refused to let go and ordered her to get off.
The incident happened as concert-goers were leaving Lewis Capaldi’s Cardiff Castle gig on Thursday, July 21.
Castle Street was closed to allow the crowds to leave safely, however the cycle lane was still open for use.
As Clare was cycling along the designated lane, a man in his mid-20s grabbed hold of her bike by the handlebars.
"I said: 'What are you doing?' and he said: 'Get off your bike now and walk," Clare said.
After she told him she didn't understand, the man told her she shouldn't be cycling on the road. "I said: 'No, no, it's a cycle lane, and it's open.'
“But, he was really aggressive and within a very short space of time I was really feeling very intimidated."
Clare noted the man did not harass male cyclists in the lane, instead making a beeline for her.
As the confrontation continued, people walked over to Clare and demanded the man let her go.
Eventually, a steward from the event intervened and allowed Clare to leave. However, as she was cycling home, a second man jumped out in front of her on a cycle lane.
Clare said she believed the incidents happened because she "stood out as a woman on a bike".
"It was so obvious [the first man] was just going to pick on me because because I was an easy target,” She said.
"There were two men, as far as I'm concerned last night, that really just wanted to be intimidating. They plucked me off, because I was on a bike and because I'm a woman."
Clare has since shared her experience on social media, and other women have expressed their solidarity.
One said: "I’ve been shouted at on my bike by men and teen boys - some jumping in front of me as I cycled on the Taff Trail. It's really intimidating," said one.
Another added: “I cycle and walk a lot in Cardiff at night and have felt less and less safe doing so over the last few years."
"I have many friends who cycle around the city and have had similar experiences with men harassing them as well as being on the receiving end of verbal, racist abuse,” said a third.
The incident comes after a woman filmed the harassment she received from a stranger as she walked down the city’s Newport Road.
Detective Superintendent Ceri Hughes from South Wales Police said: “Firstly, I am sorry to hear what Clare has experienced in Cardiff and encourage her to make contact online so we can investigate. Everyone has the right to feel safe, wherever they are, and nobody should be subjected to violence, harassment and intimidation.
"Tackling violence and abuse against women and girls is a long-standing priority for South Wales Police and we recognise that concern regarding personal safety and violence is as great as it has ever been. As well as high-visibility and plain-clothed patrols, we are involved in a wide range of initiatives to tackle violence and abuse including Safer Places, StreetSafe and the Cardiff Safety Bus.
"As part of the UK Government’s strategy to tackle violence against women and girls, we are part of a new online tool called StreetSafe, which allows people to pin-point locations where they have felt unsafe and to identify why that location made them feel unsafe.
“Using that information we can then direct our patrols and, with partners, make improvements to infrastructure such as lighting and CCTV.”