As part of a brand new initiative to tackle cycle theft and vandalism in London, 30 officers – a Police Cycle Task Force – will be patrolling the streets.
The Cycle Task Force is funded by Transport for London and forms part of the Met Police’s Safer Transport Command team. Officers will patrol on bike and will run sessions on bike marking and registration alongside Safer Transport Teams. London’s cyclists will also be advised on how to lock up their bike securely.
The new team, which first took to the streets yesterday (Sunday June 6th), has arrived alongside a draft Cycle Security Plan which provides detail on how police are planning to make a difference to cycle theft and vandalism, including:
•Tackling organised cycle theft through proactive investigations and operations;
•Disrupting the trade of stolen second-hand bikes and bicycle parts through working with online websites such as eBay, and running undercover operations and high visibility patrols in hot spot areas;
•Targeting bike theft and the handling of stolen bicycles through covert investigation;
•Working with cycle user groups and local authorities to participate in a range of London cycle events and initiatives to promote cycle security and reduce cycle theft;
•Providing 66,000 additional cycle parking spaces across the Capital by 2012 as well as introducing measures such as CCTV and better lighting at cycle parking locations, which can help prevent theft and deter criminal behaviour.
“The Mayor’s vision is for a cycling revolution in the Capital and key to that is the need for greater cycle security,” said Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor of London’s transport sdvisor. “With ever greater numbers of Londoners taking to two wheels we need to make sure when they park up their beloved bicycle they can do so in confidence it will be there when they return.
“We want this new cycle squad and the actions set out in our plan to reassure everyone who cycles in the Capital of our focus on making London as safe and secure as possible, and the best big cycling city in the world.”
Commander Mark Gore, of Safer Transport Command, added: "The Safer Transport Command and TfL are working together to create an environment where all cyclists and potential cyclists feel safe and secure. With the introduction of our dedicated Cycle Task Force, we will robustly tackle cycle theft, and improve cycle security across the Capital.”
TfL’s director of Community Safety, Enforcement and Policing, Steve Burton, said: “London’s a great place to get around on a bike, but the experience of having your bicycle stolen or damaged, or the fear that it will happen, stops many people from cycling – which makes us even more determined to crack down on cycle theft in the Capital.
“The new Cycle Task Force policing team will be dedicated to cracking down on bike thieves but will also work with Londoners to show them the steps they can take, such as ensuring they lock their bicycles securely, to help prevent themselves from becoming victims of theft or vandalism.”
Mayor Boris Johnson had a bash at crime fighting himself in November last year, chasing off would-be muggers by bike.