Bike theft levels soar in Worcester

Police come under fire for not knowing location of bike racks as use of CCTV queried

by Simon_MacMichael   November 4, 2009  

Ollie the tea-leaf

West Mercia police have been criticised for failing to combat spiraling levels of bike theft in the cathedral city.

According to the newspaper Berrow’s Worcester Journal, there have been over 800 thefts of bicycle’s in the city over the last three years, but during the same period only 19 convictions have been secured in the courts.

The paper has also questioned whether adequate use of CCTV camera coverage is being made in tackling bike theft after one of its readers asked West Mercia Police which bike racks in Worcester benefited from CCTV cover and was told that the police had no record of where bike parking facilities were located in the city.

The reader, who declined to be named, said: “I started cycling into the city a couple of years ago in an attempt to reduce the amount I used my car. But after having my bike stolen I didn’t feel safe leaving it anywhere,” adding “I just wanted to find out if there were any safe areas to leave a bike but it appears there aren’t any. We are constantly being told to reduce our carbon footprint and leave the car at home but there is nowhere safe to leave a bike. I just don’t think the CCTV is working – 19 convictions in the past three years is proof of that.”

The reader also secured statistics under the Freedom of Information Act that showed there had been 157 bike thefts in the city during the first seven months of this year.

While that points towards an annual total somewhere in the region of the 300 thefts recorded last year, itself a reduction on 2007’s figure of 380, those levels are well above the 255 and 271 thefts that took place in, respectively, 2004 and 2005.

According to Inspector Janet Heritage of West Mercia Police, the 19 convictions ignored other measures taken by the police such as issuing cautions or final warnings and also did not record whether a conviction related to multiple thefts.

She added that besides taking standard security measures such as using a good quality lock and security marking to identify a bicycle, “leaving it in the most secure area possible when out and about such as a well lit, busy area with CCTV will also help to deter an opportunist thief.”

Meanwhile, Councillor Derek Prodger, Worcestershire County Council’s cabinet member for transport and safe environment, was keen to stress that with rising numbers of Worcester residents taking to two wheels as an alternative to cars, “these criminal acts should not deter residents from using their bikes.”
 

9 user comments

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In other words, use a cheap old hack that looks like it's been fished out of a canal for commuting.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2212 posts]
4th November 2009 - 10:55

3 Likes

I bet that the majority of cycle parking is in really poor locations, that has such a big impact - it's more than just CCTV.

That photo is going to rolled out every time now isn't it? Wink

G-bitch's picture

posted by G-bitch [309 posts]
4th November 2009 - 13:18

4 Likes

I took a photo of a lonely looking wheel attached to a D-lock outside Waterloo station the other day - might have to roll that one out for variety Wink

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [8167 posts]
4th November 2009 - 14:19

3 Likes

G-bitch wrote:
I bet that the majority of cycle parking is in really poor locations, that has such a big impact - it's more than just CCTV.

That photo is going to rolled out every time now isn't it? Wink

yep nearly as often as the syringe Smile

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4145 posts]
4th November 2009 - 15:13

3 Likes

...and that london road sign. and cass cycling through bristol Smile

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7406 posts]
4th November 2009 - 15:14

3 Likes

I see them almost as logos now (not to mention old friends) rather than pictures… it wouldn't be the same without them. That said i like to embrace change so I'm sure I could get used to Simon's lonely wheel and D-lock after a couple of hundred stories

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4145 posts]
4th November 2009 - 15:20

3 Likes

Don't forget the Lance close up.

I live near Worcester but anyway, common sense prevails really, if you value your bike(s) make sure you keep them safe!

The Man In Black.

posted by gandberg [215 posts]
5th November 2009 - 23:26

3 Likes

gandberg wrote:
Don't forget the Lance close up.

Couldn't forget that. We actually do have some other pics of Lance… we just like that one B)

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4145 posts]
5th November 2009 - 23:49

2 Likes

Let's hear it for the gavel Applause

cavasta's picture

posted by cavasta [207 posts]
20th September 2014 - 15:26

0 Likes