Bike theft crackdown must be sustained

Bike theft crackdown must be sustained

The Metropolitan Police say that reported cycle thefts are down by 10.5% from the three year average. LCC says the fall in theft is welcome but that level of reduction must be sustained and increased if Londoners are not to be discouraged from cycling.

As recently as 2007/2008 the number of reported thefts was down to 17,182 before the numbers surged  to more than 23,000. The police task force crackdown in 2012/2013 has led to 600 arrests and a fall in reported thefts from 23,804 in 2012  (12 months to Sept 2012)  to 19,052 (12 months to Sept 2013)  but the police believe that the number of actual thefts, as opposed to reported ones, could be four times higher.  A report for TfL found that 25% of people who had their bikes stolen stopped cycling and an LCC survey found that two thirds of respondents rode their bikes less because of fear of theft.

In recent years on-line sales of bikes have been used by thieves to get rid of stolen property with sites like Gumtree, where it is easy to hide your identity, a prime target. As of this week, Gumtree are including a pop-up message advising bike buyers not to risk buying stolen property and directing them to tips on how not to encounter a thief http://help.gumtree.com/articles/General_Information/Buying-a-Bike-on-Gumtree . The police and LCC have lobbied Gumtree to provide such messaging and would like to see further steps to require sellers to post bike frame numbers, which can be checked against stolen bike lists, and to introduce ratings of sellers based on identity information provided to Gumtree as well as on previous transactions.   LCC recommends that cycle buyers use only websites where they can check the identity of the seller. 

 

You can find useful advice on buying online in our advice section http://lcc.org.uk/articles/how-to-avoid-buying-a-stolen-bike  as well  as a guide on how to get your bike security marked and registered  http://lcc.org.uk/articles/security-marking-for-your-bicycle

The police provide free security  marking at various locations in London

 http://content.met.police.uk/Article/Cycle-marking-events/1400005859885/1400005859885

Security marking means you can prove ownership should your bike get stolen and also enables the police to return your bike if recovered (they currently hold  more than 2000 unidentified bikes) – many bike insurers require security marking . 

 

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