Stolen bikes returned to owners
26 October 2012
More than 70 arrests were made last week as a result of increased activity as part of Project Cycle Ops - a partnership initiative between Transport for London the police and cycling groups to tackle cycle theft from public places across the Capital.
Officers from the Transport for London (TfL) funded Metropolitan Police Service Safer Transport Command (STC), British Transport Police (BTP) and City of London Police (CoLP) stepped up their activity last week, using a range of tactics to crack down on cycle thieves. In total, more than 50 bikes were seized which officers are now trying to identify whether they are stolen and find their rightful owners.
"Through a wide range of tactics this week has seen some excellent results in the Capital.”
Eleven of the bikes seized were Bromptons which were recovered as a result of a search warrant at an address in Harrow, following intelligence into the sale of stolen bikes online. So far, 13 bikes, including four of these have been identified as being stolen and will be returned to their owners.
In the last week, more than 1400 cyclists have had their bike security marked and registered on bikeregister.com for free using BikeRegister, the MPS preferred cycle registration database and the main search tool used by the police to reunite stolen bikes to their owner. They were also given advice on how to lock up their bikes securely in order to deter cycle theft.
Registering details of your bike helps the police and retailers identify and verify the legitimate owner of bikes that have been stolen or are being resold. Over 48000 bikes have been marked and registered onto BikeRegister by the MPS since June 2010.
Project Cycle Ops is an on-going partnership initiative involving hundreds of officers to tackle cycle theft using a variety of tactics including bike marking and registration events, engaging with cyclists, high-visibility patrols, surveillance, intelligence-led operations and covert policing tactics.
Superintendent Stuart Trayler, Safer Transport Command, said: "Through a wide range of tactics, the increased policing activity this week has seen some excellent results in the Capital.
"This activity, which will continue to run across London's 32 boroughs, is part of Project Cycle Ops, a collaborative approach between the MPS, Transport for London (TfL), British Transport and City of London Police officers funded by TfL to crack down on cycle theft from public places in the city. It's vital that all cyclists are able to leave their locked bike knowing that it will be secure and there when they return."
Siwan Hayward, Deputy Director of CSEP at TfL said: "Working with our partners in the Police, TfL strongly supports the Mayor's vision of getting more people cycling across London, while driving down cycle theft across the capital. Project Cycle Ops is the latest phase of our award winning partnership and has helped us recover a large number of stolen bikes and arrest more than 70 bike thieves.
"While operations like these send a clear message that bike theft is not tolerated in the Capital, all cyclists are urged to register their bikes online for free to help us identify and recover them if stolen or resold."
Notes to editor:
" The Metropolitan Police Service, British Transport Police, City of London Police and Transport for London are working together in an initiative Project Cycle Ops to crack down on cycle theft in the Capital.
" Officers and staff from these agencies will work together to tackle cycle theft through various initiatives including bike marking and registration events, engaging with cyclists, high-visibility patrols, surveillance, intelligence-led operations and covert policing tactics.
" The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Cycle Task Force, funded by Transport for London (TfL) forms part of the MPS Safer Transport Command team;
" The Cycle Task Force is a dedicated unit to tackle cycle theft and improve cycle security and safety pan-London.
" Since June 2010, the MPS have registered over 48000 bikes on BikeRegister.com. Over 23000 of these were cycle security marked and registered by the Cycle Task Force.
" Since June 2010 the Cycle Task Force have made over 250 arrests, reunited some Londoners with their stolen bikes and engaged with over 6000 people in 'Exchanging Places' events.
" The Cycle Task Force work with the Payback Unit using Proceeds of Crime Act to deprive criminals of their assets gained through cycle crime.
" The Cycle Security Plan produced by TfL, British Transport Police, City of London Police and Metropolitan Police Service sets out what we have done, and plan to do, to prevent and deter cycle theft and criminal damage.
" The Cycle Task Force offer free security marking, registration and advice. Registering your bike helps police and retailers identify and verify the legitimate owner of bikes that have been stolen or are being resold. Security marking your bike deters potential thieves as your bike can be easily traced if it is stolen. They also run 'Exchanging Places' events to raise awareness of cycle safety. For details of upcoming dates visit http://content.met.police.uk/Article/Cycle-marking-events/1400005859885/1400005859885
" The MPS have recently selected BikeRegister as the preferred cycle register for London.
" Members of the public can contact the team by e-mailing them on CycleTaskForce@met.police.uk;
" The team works alongside the local Safer Transport and Safer Neighbourhood Teams, who also run sessions on bike marking and registration and give London's cyclists advice on how to lock up their bikes securely in order to deter cycle theft. For information on local marking events visit your local Safer Transport Team website - www.met.police.uk/transport/the_teams.html
" As part of the continuing campaign against cycle theft and the sale of stolen bikes, TfL and the MPS Safer Transport Command have produced a video that advises cyclists on how to protect your bike, available at www.youtube.com/metpoliceservice. You can also find the 'Exchanging Places' video on the MPS YouTube page.
Crime Prevention Advice
" Park and lock your bike at designated parking areas, using two locks. Make sure both locks catch the bike frame as well as both wheels and the post.
Follow the Three R's:
- Record - Keep a record for yourself of the frame number, make and any other marks that can identify your bike if it is stolen. The Cycle Taskforce run a number of bike marking events, details can be found at http://content.met.police.uk/Article/Cycle-marking-events/1400005859885/1400005859885
- Register - There are a number of websites where cyclists can register the details of their bikes and any distinguishing features/ frame numbers etc. The MPS have recently selected BikeRegister as the preferred cycle online registration service - www.bikeregister.com.
- Report - If your bike is stolen then please make sure that you report it to the police. Bike theft is a significantly under reported crime. Reporting the theft will enable us to check databases and contact the owner once the bike is recovered.