Officers from over 30 police forces have attended a one-day cycle crime forum, reports BikeBiz. Held last Thursday in Birmingham, the inaugural Steering Clear of Cycle Crime Conference was a chance to share best practice and examine successful operations which have helped reduce cycle crime.
As well as police, representatives from local councils and members of cycling organisations were also in attendance. Over 380,000 bikes were stolen in England and Wales in 2013/14 and the event also featured statistics about the cost of cycle crime to police and councils.
The conference was organised by BikeRegister, the national cycle database. Its managing director, James Brown, felt that the event had been a success:
“We are delighted with the success of Steering Clear of Cycle Crime and are hugely grateful to all those police forces who attended. The intelligence and best practice shared meant that it was an extremely beneficial conference for all those present. Our aim was to help further reduce cycle crime across the UK, and we hope that goal will now be achieved.”
Brown himself was one of a number of different speakers and he emphasised the importance of having a single national database for bikes. He explained how BikeRegister is monitored for unusual criminal activity and how this has helped police catch thieves.
Detective Inspector John Justice and PC Mark Farmer from British Transport Police spoke about Operation Fiesta which is geared towards catching prolific bike thieves. They said that bike theft from London’s Paddington Station had been reduced by 76 per cent following the arrest of a gang targeting the area.
Sergeant Titus Halliwell from Roads and Transport Policing Command in the Metropolitan Police spoke about the ‘Lock Thieves Out’ campaign which was designed to raise awareness about how to properly secure a bike to a rack as well as offering other crime prevention tips.
There was also an interview with Andrew Gilligan, London’s Cycling Commissioner, who spoke to Brown about the challenges presented by cycle crime as well as government plans to reduce it.