Punts sunk by axe-wielding madman

Punt-hater still on the loose as CCTV cameras were “facing the wrong way.”


Two punts have been brutally attacked with an axe in the second punt attack in four months. 

Carol Aston, Crime Prevention Officer for Cambridgeshire Constabulary, said that police received a report of a male “damaging punts with what is believed to be an axe”. She said the area was searched but there was “no trace of him” and CCTV in the area “at time of incident were facing the wrong way”.

Punt bashing first occurred in October last year, when two punts were found with two “cigarette-packet sized holes in them”. The police investigation at the time brought to light a battle between punt chauffeurs in King’s Parade which also resulted in a man being assaulted.

The River Cam: home of ongoing “punt wars”

Ongoing “punt wars” between operators were the cause of more than 20 police investigations from 2011-2014.

The latest vicious attack, which took place on December 16, was on the same punts. Police believe that an axe was used in both strikes, which has damaged two £5,000 boats

Police have previously investigated punt-bashing incidents

Punt-sinking is a blatant failure to comply with the new restrictions brought in in September 2015. These rules require operators to give an “airline-style safety briefing” and remain sober while punting.

A spokeswoman from the police force said: “At about 9.35pm on December 16 we received reports of a man in a light blue jumper damaging punts on the River Cam close to a passageway which leads to Richmond Terrace/Thompsons Lane.

“Investigations are ongoing. Anyone with any information or anyone who saw the incident should call police on 101.”

Tourists have little idea of the punt drama unfolding above them

Jed Ramsay, from Conservators of the River Cam, said: “It’s disappointing to see punts in this condition – particularly when it appears to be a deliberate act of vandalism. We’ve spoken with the owner of the punts and given them an opportunity to deal with them. If they remain in a sunken condition for much longer we’ll remove them ourselves.”

What a punt.