After all the grim figures about the number of bicycles being stolen in the UK, it’s welcome news that bike theft is down 10% in the capital over the past 12 months. In real numbers, this is over 2,000 offences that have been prevented.
This sizeable drop in thefts has been attributed to Project Cycle Ops, a collaborative effort between TfL and the Metropolitan, City of London, and Transport Police forces.
So what has Project Cycle Ops been up to that has made this difference? Firstly, security marking over 40,000 bikes to identify the owners of a recovered stolen bike.
Then, working with the popular classified ads site Gumtree, to help educate people in spotting what might be a stolen bike for sale.
Also, the police have been working ‘behind the scenes’ to catch thieves in the act of selling stolen bikes online.
It’s great to see the progress made, and that TfL and the Mayor of London recognise the problem of cycle security.
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Andrew Gilligan, the Mayor of London’s Cycling Commissioner, said:
‘Many people who have their bikes stolen simply give up cycling, so cracking down on this crime is essential for the Mayor’s ambition to double the number of cyclists.
‘In the months ahead, you will see more initiatives from us to pile further pressure on the thieves and shrink the market in stolen bikes.’
There are still over 2,000 recovered bikes in police stations across the capital, lying unclaimed. If you’ve had an unmarked bike stolen, check out the Flickr gallery and see if yours is there: http://www.flickr.com/photos/metropolitanpolice/
If your bike isn’t yet security marked, check your local police force’s website and see when the next free marking is. Otherwise, take a look at BikeRegister.