Officers from 28 police forces have attended the third annual Cycle Crime Conference, hosted by BikeRegister, the national cycle database, in association with British Transport Police (BTP). Held on Tuesday July 5 in Birmingham, the conference saw speakers highlight numerous initiatives being undertaken nationally to tackle bike crime.
Sarah Burr from Transport for London spoke about the impact of cycle crime in London; Fergus Campbell from Gumtree explained what steps the auction site is taking to combat bike thieves; and Belinda Hopkins from the University of Oxford put forward ideas to counter university bike theft following the successful introduction of a BikeRegister scheme across all Oxford colleges.
There was also a cycle theft talk from Wing Commander Keith Dear, focusing on ‘how feeling watched can change behaviour’. The managing director of BikeRegister, James Brown, also revealed that a new app is to be launched for police that will simplify stolen bike checks.
Brown did however go on to warn of a lack of funding to deal with cycle crime.
“Our concern is that after the big strides made over the last four years, police forces are taking resources away from tackling cycle crime. As a result, we are seeing huge spikes in bicycle theft in many areas of the UK, in some jurisdictions by up to 50 per cent. With cycle journeys rapidly increasing, we should be increasing not decreasing our combined efforts.”
The event also featured the 2017 Cycle Crime Awards, which pay tribute to the work being carried by police forces and other organisations making use of BikeRegister.
Most Stolen Bikes Recovered (using BikeRegister)
Winner: Thames Valley Police
Thames Valley Police arrested a man suspected of handling stolen goods after an astonishing 164 bicycles were found in his garden.
Most Amount of Bikes Marked
Winner: Met Police – Hillingdon Safer Transport Team
The Hillingdon Safer Transport Team marked 2,969 cycles with BikeRegister in 2016/17.
Most Significant Reduction in Cycle Theft
Winner: Lancashire Constabulary
Officers from Lancashire Police achieved a 58 per cent reduction in bike theft through the implementation of Operation Derailleur, an operation to prevent and deter bike theft.
The Partnership Project Award
Winner: Transport for West Midlands, Safer Travel Police Team and London Midland
To combat an upward trend in cycle-related crime at rail stations, Transport for West Midlands and the Safer Travel Partnership and rail operator London Midland put together a series of initiatives to ensure new and existing cycle rail commuters would have the confidence to cycle and ride.