The Met Police have uploaded a gallery with pictures of some of the 2,000 unclaimed bikes they stored across the capital. Have a flick through and see if you can spot your stolen bike!
The gallery is part of an announcement today that bike theft is down 11% across the capital, since October 2012.
This is the result of Project Cycle Ops, which is a collaboration between TfL, The Met Police, the British Transport Police and the City of London Police.
The 11% drop in realistic numbers means there are 2,000 less people who’ll have that horrible moment of returning to their bike, to find a broken lock on the floor and no bike in sight.
From October 2012, to the end of August 2013, 19,052 bikes were stolen. In the same period during 2012, 21,488 bikes were stolen.
See also: How to make your bike theft proof
The police have been using bike marking sessions, educating cyclists, high-visibility patrolling, surveillance and undercover policing.
During the course of Project Cycle Ops, police have security marked and registered over 40,000 bikes on BikeRegister.com.
Cutting down on stolen bike sales on Gumtree
TfL and the police joined forces with BikeRegister on a marketing campaign aimed at encouraging people to get their bikes security marked and registered, and insist on proof of ownership and bike registration numbers before making a purchase. In addition, they worked with Gumtree, the UK’s number one online classified website, to help get this message out to the public; as a result, cycle security pop-up messages are now seen on the site by anyone looking to buy a bike, along with updated guidance and a dedicated cycle security blog.
Police have also worked behind the scenes with the site to catch the bike thieves in the act as they attempted to sell bikes and bike parts online – cutting off one of their marketplaces and making it much more difficult for criminals to make money from this kind of crime.
11% drop is a good start
The cracking down on stolen bike sales on Gumtree, the police marking sessions and the tactics used to reduce this crime are all very positive.
I’m sure I’d be reporting more impressive numbers today, if the sentencing for serial bike thieves was harsher.
Bikes remain an easy and profitable target for thieves. Cyclists have a role in bringing these numbers down. For a start, everyone should have their bike registered on http://bikeregister.com/ which is free. You should also either buy their marking kit or head down to one of the police marking sessions.
Here are the next few sessions:
- 15th October 2013 – John Lewis, Victoria Street junction with Carlisle Place, SW1P
- 16th October 2013 – 10-1pm – Carshalton College Sutton, SM5 2EJ
- 18th October 2013 – 7.30am – 6.30pm – Kings Mews, junction with Theobalds Road, Camden
- 29th October 2013 – 7.45-10am – outside Belsize Park Underground Station, Haverstock Hill Camden
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.