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22/07/2011 // INFO Leave a comment

Cycle task force helps to put the brake on cycle thefts

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Cycle Task Force

It has been a tough week for the Metropolitan Police in London due to events elsewhere which I am sure you are aware of.  We couldn’t possibly comment on those goings on but at least there has been some good news this week coming from the Metropolitan Police’s Cycle Task Force with has just completed its first year of existence.

Funded by Transport for London, the 30-strong Cycle Task Force made over 200 arrests made since it started in June 2010.

Of the 200 arrests made by the Cycle Task Force over the year, 175 have been for offences related to theft, with 74% of those resulting in a positive outcome. There has also been a 3% reduction in the number of bikes stolen in London in the last 12 months compared to the previous year.

The Task Force’s work

Cycle Task Force officers use various tactics to deter cycle crime in London. They gather valuable intelligence on suspected cycle theft-related cases, conduct high-visibility patrols and advise cyclists on issues such as security, safety and how to protectively mark their bikes.

The Task Force marked over 12,000 bicycles over the last year, while it has also engaged with over 6,000 people through ‘Exchanging Places’ events that gives cyclists a chance sit in the driver’s seat of an HGV and vice-versa.

Recovering bikes

An example of the Cycle Task Force work is to be proactive in recovering stolen bikes that have been put up for sale on eBay or classified sites such as Gumtree.

In one case, involving Charlotte Barnes from Ealing, a number of her bikes had been put up for sale on eBay after being  stolen from her property following a burglary.  The Cycle Task Force made enquiries with the website and as a result carried out a search warrant at a house in Sutton in March this year. A total of 14 bikes were found at the location, including the eight stolen from Ms Barnes’ burglary.

Bike Theft figures

Figures from the Met puts Westminster as the worst London borough for bike thefts with 1,788 crimes, followed by Islington (1,565), Hackney (1,518) and Camden (1,451). Bexley has the fewest – 124 were reported to police.

Steps to beat the bike thief

Going Going Bike does not list stolen bikes and with our Prove It system, we ask sellers to input frame numbers of the bikes they list with us.

We ask bike owners to register their bikes with Bike Shepherd, where an owner can register their bike, its frame number, the make of it and any other marks that can help identify a bike if it is stolen.

If your bike is stolen then please make sure that you report it to the police. Reporting the theft will enable the police to check databases such as Bike Shepherd and contact the owner once the bike is recovered.

As part of the continuing campaign against cycle theft, Transport for London and the Metropolitan Police’s Safer Transport Command have produced a video that advises cyclists on how to protect their bike. This video can be viewed here. If you need to contact the Cycle Task Force with regard to a bike theft or if you want to report a known bike being sold on eBay or Gumtree, contact: [email protected]

See also

Vote for Going Going Bike in the Venture Candy Public Vote

Two new London Superhighway routes open for business

from Going Going Bike – Auctions, Bike News, Cycle Stuff

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