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Met and TfL secure ASBO after highlighting “alarm and distress” caused to victims

A London bike thief who has a string of convictions relating to stolen bikes has been given an anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) that bans him from owning bolt-cutters for five years or from advertising bicycles or components for sale.

John Arthey, aged 27 and from Newham, has also been banned by Snaresbrook Crown Court of being in possession of a bicycle unless he can prove he owns it.

The ASBO was applied for by the Metropolitan Police’s Safer Transport Command and Transport for London’s Crime Reduction Unit due to his repeat offences and the “alarm and distress” felt by his victims, supported by statements from them.

Should Arthey, who pleaded guilty to a burglary that took place in Newham during which a bike worth £160 was stolen, break the terms of his ASBO he could be liable to further conviction and a jail sentence.

He received a 16-month suspended sentence and a three-month curfew, as well as a six-month drug rehabilitation order. He also has to pay compensation to the victim.

It was his third conviction related to cycle theft within the past year, the others being for handling stolen goods, for which he received a suspended sentence, and a prison term for “going equipped” for theft close to some bike parking.

Superintendent Rob Revill said: “This is an excellent result which has seen a prolific cycle thief receive a suitably restrictive Asbo.

“Cycle theft is a crime which has a huge impact on victims. This is an example of how we are working with Transport for London using a range of tactics and legislation such as ASBOs to tackle cycle theft.”

Siwan Hayward, TfL's Deputy Director of Enforcement and On-Street Operations, said: "Tackling cycle theft is important for us at TfL in achieving the Mayor's ambition to get more people cycling - and we, alongside our policing partners, are committed to improving cycle security in the capital.”

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

29 comments

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balmybaldwin [153 posts] 1 year ago
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Great... an Asbo - because these work so well!

Why not give him a proper sentence

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dodgy [180 posts] 1 year ago
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He was also 'banned' from theft and burglary before the offences were committed, just like we all are. So now he's 'banned' from some other activities, what difference will it make?

A bit like banning a driver for driving without insurance, he's already broken one law, may as well carry on driving.

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bikebot [1886 posts] 1 year ago
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Presumably if he breached the ASBO, the suspended sentence would no longer be suspended, which sounds like a fairly good incentive not to go out equipped to commit further crimes.

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oozaveared [936 posts] 1 year ago
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The sentence is alright. You may have missed that he nicks bikes not necessarily expensive ones because he is a drug addict. He maybe gets a £10 for £150 Halfords special. Not much point just sending him to prison for 6 months. He needs to get off the drugs or we are all back to square one.

He has a suspended sentence. So if he commits another offence he'll go to jail for 6 months plus be sentenced for the new offence. There's a Drug rehab order meaning he gets lots of support to get off drugs and he has to attend and be tested that he hasn't taken any. And there's and ASBO stopping him doing or owning certain things which are not in an of themselves illegal but if he doesn't comply with the restriction then that is an offence in itself. So if he had bolt croppers he'd go straight to jail for 6 months as the suspended sentence would kick in.

I hope the drug rehab order works. I hope he gets off the drugs and stops nicking bikes for a £10 fix and I think the sentence is fair enough.

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Paul J [882 posts] 1 year ago
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Sounds like a drug habit is a factor in his trade. Hope this "drug rehabilitation order" comes with enough resources to have a hope of tackling the underlying problem.

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jacknorell [963 posts] 1 year ago
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I thought if you had a suspended sentence (like the previous one he had), it'll automatically be turned into a 'normal' sentence if you get convicted again?

Apparently not... as he got another suspended sentence.

He clearly needs to get clean and then may sort himself out, I don't necessarily think he's let off.

Don't understand the legal situation though, very strange.

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davkt [41 posts] 1 year ago
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Like being told he can't do something will have any effect.

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oozaveared [936 posts] 1 year ago
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Paul J wrote:

Sounds like a drug habit is a factor in his trade. Hope this "drug rehabilitation order" comes with enough resources to have a hope of tackling the underlying problem.

It's very difficult to get people off drugs. Sadly rehab doesn't work often enough. There's almost certainly something in his life or psyche that led him to drugs in the first place. But it does work sometimes and it's a chance for him if he really wants to take it. It's right that he gets that chance and compared to the cost of prison it's way cheaper.

If you asked for my considered bet it would be 3/2 it won't work and that he will end up going in and out of prison for petty theft offences for most of what will probably be a shortish life. If you send him to prison now for 6 months those odds would become a virtual certainty. That's why we try hard to avoid that as long as possible.

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zanf [829 posts] 1 year ago
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Maybe it might be a good thing to get him involved with a program such as ones like the Bristol Bike Project offer.

Get him off the drugs, teach him a skill set, some values and help him develop some self worth.

Or we could advocate throwing him in jail, not breaking the cycle and watch him continue with his recidivism.

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Simmo72 [603 posts] 1 year ago
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He must be bricking it, because the police have the time to follow up and check he hasn't nicked a pair of bolt cutters that are probably sitting in his mates house - who also sells on the stolen gear on his behalf -, oh my goodness, what a waste of time, what a joke, and the public paid for these legal proceedings.

I don't know abut teaching him a skillset and values, maybe he is just a piece of crap who doesn't want to learn because he can get buy nicely stealing things is backed up by a law that doesn't punish

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dafyddp [355 posts] 1 year ago
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There are so many sensible arguments for de-criminalising addictive drugs like heroin and crack cocaine, but sadly it be political suicide, so I can't see it happening any time soon. Punitive measures will not solve the problem of petty criminality, or help people lead healthier/wealthier lives.

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zanf [829 posts] 1 year ago
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Simmo72 wrote:

I don't know abut teaching him a skillset and values, maybe he is just a piece of crap who doesn't want to learn because he can get buy nicely stealing things is backed up by a law that doesn't punish

So you know him personally, and his entire history? Otherwise that second paragraph is pure conjecture and subsequently worthless.

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bobinski [231 posts] 1 year ago
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Simmo72 wrote:

He must be bricking it, because the police have the time to follow up and check he hasn't nicked a pair of bolt cutters that are probably sitting in his mates house - who also sells on the stolen gear on his behalf -, oh my goodness, what a waste of time, what a joke, and the public paid for these legal proceedings.

I don't know abut teaching him a skillset and values, maybe he is just a piece of crap who doesn't want to learn because he can get buy nicely stealing things is backed up by a law that doesn't punish

Actually the Law, or rather sentencing is supposed to have a punitive element and, where possible, a rehabilitative element too. One of the joys of my job over the last 25 years has been seeing offenders, most of whom have had the kind of deprived, abused ( often in care homes and so called safe and secure places) move on from offending. Rare indeed have been the offenders who have stopped as a result of another custodial sentence. Almost without exception those that have stopped have done so with the support of probation, drug and alcohol dependency agencies, either within the confines of a community order or a suspended sentence. The fact that they may lapse along the way does not mean we abandon them to a prison system pretty much the educator of career criminals as educational training and support are abandoned. Gone to prison? yeah we will move you 150 miles from your family causing even greater problems and undermining any hope of progress on release. The hang 'em and flog 'em brigade may not like it but prison doesn't really work other than perhaps to keep the most dangerous people off the streets.

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Binky [116 posts] 1 year ago
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What's with all the sympathy for this person?

So what if he is on drugs. You do the crime, you do the time. Rehab is just a expensive (to the tax payer) stepping stone to this person going into prison.

Doesn't matter how costly the bikes are, some of these bikes are a persons only means of transport.

Stick him in prison. They do drug rehabs in jail as well as urine tests and room searchs (as well as cavity searchs)

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Paul J [882 posts] 1 year ago
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Prison is very very expensive. Definitely much more expensive than drug rehabilitation alone, last time I looked into the details of this argument. I don't remember the exact figures, but prison was something like twice the cost.

So, just in terms of your pocket and mine, it's definitely worth first trying to get these people off drugs in the community and into a more normal life, before we consign them to the revolving door of prison / crime / prison. That latter option will cost the rest of us a lot of grief from the crime, and a fortune on the prison part.

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oozaveared [936 posts] 1 year ago
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dafyddp wrote:

There are so many sensible arguments for de-criminalising addictive drugs like heroin and crack cocaine, but sadly it be political suicide, so I can't see it happening any time soon. Punitive measures will not solve the problem of petty criminality, or help people lead healthier/wealthier lives.

There are no sensible arguments for decriminalising heroin or crack cocaine. There might be a case for certain types of cannabis, but crack? You're kidding me right?

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Joeinpoole [439 posts] 1 year ago
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oozaveared wrote:

There are no sensible arguments for decriminalising heroin or crack cocaine. There might be a case for certain types of cannabis, but crack? You're kidding me right?

Yes there are __ plenty of them. The simple fact is that prohibition *never* works. The money to be made from supplying prohibited substances invariably creates it own much larger and unregulated market. A phenomenal amount of crime is also committed as 'side-effects' of the prohibition ... everything from robbery (by users to pay for the drugs) to murders in turf-wars between those who supply the market.

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ribena [179 posts] 1 year ago
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FOR SALE: bolt croppers

WANTED: angle grinder

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seven [150 posts] 1 year ago
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ribena wrote:

WANTED: angle grinder

(cordless)

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Sudor [186 posts] 1 year ago
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"No Officer you've got it wrong - these ain't bolt croppers they're hedge loppers see". "Okay Son on your way"

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zanf [829 posts] 1 year ago
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oozaveared wrote:
dafyddp wrote:

There are so many sensible arguments for de-criminalising addictive drugs like heroin and crack cocaine, but sadly it be political suicide, so I can't see it happening any time soon. Punitive measures will not solve the problem of petty criminality, or help people lead healthier/wealthier lives.

There are no sensible arguments for decriminalising heroin or crack cocaine. There might be a case for certain types of cannabis, but crack? You're kidding me right?

Alcohol kills more people than all illegal drugs put together, and thats not even mentioning tobacco.

If you want to talk levels of crime, alcohol is a terrible drug: every towns high streets are filled with intoxicated people causing damage to themselves, others and property all the time. A&E units are full up every weekend with the casualties from it. It is a massive drain on the NHS with dealing with it, and the after effects.

Where is your calls for the criminalisation of alcohol? Oh yes, because historically, we know that it doesnt work yet refused to stop being so myopic about prohibition of all intoxicants.

The simple fact of the matter is that humans have since their appearance on this planet, have been searching out 'highs'.

You can see it in playgrounds with kids, spinning around or holding their breathe.

The attitude of the anti drug lobby is about achieving a "drug free world", which is just plain fucking dumb and so detached from reality that surely they *have* to be on drugs!

12 years ago Portugal decriminalised possession and the evidence shows that there hasnt been a massive crime wave (in fact crime dropped) and the stigma with addiction, and to subsequently seek help, was removed.

Prohibition does not work. Nor does building the prison industrial complex.

Its time to be a bit more open minded to dealing with the issue of addiction and its associated problems.

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Initialised [304 posts] 1 year ago
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dafyddp wrote:

There are so many sensible arguments for de-criminalising addictive drugs like heroin and crack cocaine, but sadly it be political suicide, so I can't see it happening any time soon. Punitive measures will not solve the problem of petty criminality, or help people lead healthier/wealthier lives.

America proved prohibition doesn't work back in the 1920s why do we persist?

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cyclingDMlondon [483 posts] 1 year ago
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bikebot wrote:

Presumably if he breached the ASBO, the suspended sentence would no longer be suspended, which sounds like a fairly good incentive not to go out equipped to commit further crimes.

No, if he breached the ASBO and he is caught.

The article says that was his third conviction. It certainly wasn't his third offence.

He is a thief. He takes other people's possessions, and has demonstrated conclusively that the law provides no deterrent.

I guarantee that violence would stop him.

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comm88 [76 posts] 1 year ago
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Why is he a serial offender? What makes him do what he does? What hope does he have? Who cares?

Everybody blames Somebody when Nobody does what Anybody could have done!!!

Prison isn't the answer. You'll make him worse and harden him beyond hope. Surely the only real hope he's got is if a programme somewhere takes him on and helps him make sense out of the mess his life is and has become. Like the like the Bristol Bike Project offer.

Or maybe we could just despatch him to fight for those renegade Islamic State nutters and thus further fuel the problem that will surely one day soon bite us firmly in the ass!!

And that's exactly why fighting fire with fire solves nothing as far as I can see. You simply fan the flames that actually fuel the problem and end up solving nothing at all.

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gb901 [149 posts] 1 year ago
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Meh!

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BigglesMeister [60 posts] 1 year ago
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Can't we just lock the c**t up or cut his testicles off with some of those bolt croppers ????????? What am I missing, while he's locked up he'll go cold turkey so will kick the habit - it's a start. Locking him up has got to be cheaper than to have him running around nicking everything while normal people are at work. Don't even think about starting with the "well it's insured blah blah " we all pay the premiums and there's the time and aggro of dealing with it. What does he do with the bikes - I can't imagine he sells them so they go straight to the dealers. Follow him, catch the dealers. WTF are plod upto ????????????

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eschelar [56 posts] 1 year ago
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lol. you've got it backwards. Cut off his *fingers* and crush his testicles. Then he'll stop.

Of course you want to get the names of his buyers in the process. If he doesn't give them to you with the first bit, meat slicer to the bottoms of his feet. Keep going until he talks.

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ch [186 posts] 1 year ago
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The idea of making crack legal and letting crack users deal themselves their own punishment while removing mafia revenue sources sounds very appealing.

The unfortunate truth is that crack could immediately become a source of income for large corporations who would work very hard to brainwash the general public into using it as a natural pick me up. Some of the huge cash flowing through narrow passages would be fed back into government to prevent regulation of said brainwashing.

Just look at the spread of opioid and testosterone in the US to see what I mean - doctors, or dealers?

On the other hand, the past 40 years has seen a reduction in tobacco usage and drunk driving - implying that societies can achieve results through education and enforcement of laws about conditions of usage (rather than usage per se).

There is no easy way - but that doesn't mean we should give up.

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ch [186 posts] 1 year ago
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The idea of making crack legal and letting crack users deal themselves their own punishment while removing mafia revenue sources sounds very appealing.

The unfortunate truth is that crack could immediately become a source of income for large corporations who would work very hard to brainwash the general public into using it as a natural pick me up. Some of the huge cash flowing through narrow passages would be fed back into government to prevent regulation of said brainwashing.

Just look at the spread of opioid and testosterone in the US to see what I mean - doctors, or dealers?

On the other hand, the past 40 years has seen a reduction in tobacco usage and drunk driving - implying that societies can achieve results through education and enforcement of laws about conditions of usage (rather than usage per se).

There is no easy way - but that doesn't mean we should give up.