Officer steps in to help deaf teen who had his bike stolen

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A 14-year-old Deaf pupil from the Castleford Academy is riding high despite being the victim of crime.

Maciej Uniatowski who can only communicate through sign language had his bike stolen from the school on the October 14 2015 and was his only means of transport to and from home.

His family were not able to buy him another bike, which was designed to support his independence.

West Yorkshire Police Safer Schools Officer, PC Alex Potter heard about the situation and stepped in to help.

“Initially, when the theft was reported to me, it was clear that this would have a massive impact on his day to day life and he wanted nothing more than to be independent travelling to and from school,” said PC Potter.

“When I read about the Child Victims of Crime charity Christmas gifts I could not think of a more worthy nominee.

“I received the news that Maciej had been selected and both he, his family and I were ecstatic.

“He has since been provided with vouchers to buy a new bike and he is now back on the road.

“Since coming back after the Christmas holidays, Maciej has his confidence and independence back.

“Without the bike, he would be lost, particularly as it replaced his requirement for Local Authority funded transport.

“As a Safer Schools Partnership Officer my role is to engage with pupils and work in partnership with the Academy. It is nice to get to know pupils and assist them whenever possible during a time when they need support.”

Maciej said the gift has made a real difference to his life.

“I am so happy with my new bike, as it is too far to walk. I like being independent and now I can cycle to school again, it is much quicker,” he said. “I would like to thank the charity for helping me. I was so surprised.”

Head Teacher at Castleford Academy Castleford Academy, George Panayiotou said: “I was delighted to hear that one of our pupils, has been awarded a £100 voucher through the Child Victims of Crime charity to put towards a new bike.

“Unfortunately Maciej had his bike stolen a few months ago so this wonderful contribution will enable him to be able to travel independently once again.

“I would like to thank our School Liaison Officer, PC Alex Potter for putting the bid together and enabling all of this to happen.”