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Police say culprit could face 'significant' prison term
Walkers, joggers, horse riders and farmers are being warned to watch out for dangerous ‘nail traps’ set along a disused railway line.
At least one jogger has been hurt and farmers have reported injuries to livestock and punctured tyres, due to a series of four-inch nails which have been buried on the path of the former Otley to Pool-in-Wharfedale line.
Police, who were alerted to the problem by Farmwatch members, found 14 nails along a 400-metre stretch of the path, each embedded in the ground leaving a two-inch spike sticking up.
The North West Outer Neighbourhood Policing Team leader said the nails were deliberately set as a trap by someone trying to stop off-road motorcyclists riding in the area.
Sergeant Neil Perkis said: “I firmly believe that the person responsible has a grievance with the occasional off-road biker that uses this stretch of track, the objective being that their tyres are punctured.
“The track is regularly used by joggers, dog walkers, families, farmers and horse riders.
“The implications of running and stepping on one of these nails do not bear thinking about. The person doing this is irresponsible and could face a significant prison sentence if serious injury is caused to anyone.
“We have made a lot of inquiries in the immediate area and will continue to maximise every opportunity we have to identify the culprit.
“In addition, we are warning users of the track to exercise caution and report anything they deem to be suspicious.”
The nails found at the scene have been removed and will be forensically examined as part of the investigation.
Anybody with information is asked to contact the Neighbourhood Polcing Team via the non-emergency number, 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.