Sharp rise in London bike theft

London commuters Credit: Stuart Coles
London commuters Credit: Stuart Coles

According to a recent news item on the BBC site, this year has seen a sharp rise in the number of bike thefts in the nation’s capital, emphasising the need for greater bike security and use of systems like Immobilise.

Police figures have shown that a total of 426 bikes were stolen in Westminster between April and August this year compared to 244 in the same period in 2009 – a 71% rise.

The West End was the worst-hit area in the year 2008/2009 with 436 bikes stolen, the Metropolitan Police said.

London as a whole has seen a 6% rise in bike thefts with 18,218 cycles reported stolen since last April.
Year-on-year figures for Westminster show 1,466 cycles were stolen between last April and March 2009, compared to 1,420 bikes the previous year and 1,277 in 2006-2007.

Across London 17,182 cycles were stolen in 2007/2008, fewer than the year before which saw 18,646 bike thefts.

Ch Insp Glenn Tunstall, who works in the central Westminster area, said thefts had risen as a result of the increase in cycle journeys in London.

He said:

We have increased our patrols, doing high visibility patrols and more proactive work around thefts. As a result since the beginning of the year our arrests have risen by 333%.

But in a lot of these arrests we are unable to trace the owners of these cycles which makes it very difficult for us to achieve justice.

So we are asking members of the public to register with firms like immobilise.com and make a note of their frame numbers and that will allow us to be more effective.

Other boroughs which saw a high number of thefts were Islington, Camden, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Lambeth, Kingston, Hammersmith and Fulham and Kensington and Chelsea.

To read the source article please go to the BBC News website: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/8207023.stm

Cambridge bike thieves target freshers

cambridge_bikesby Simon MacMichael writing for Road.cc

Police in Cambridge are urging cyclists to mark their bicycles after an average of nearly 11 bicycles a day were reported stolen in the university city during October.

Just two of the 338 bicycles were reunited with their owners, according to Cambridge News, as thieves targeted new students at the start of the academic year.

Lewis Herbert, a member of Cambridge city council, told the newspaper: “I am worried and very concerned at the risk of a major outbreak of thefts in the autumn and the high theft figures through 2009,” adding that there should be additional secure areas where people can leave their bikes safely.

In the first ten months of 2009, more than 1,900 bikes have been stolen in the city, a 13% increase on the comparable period in 2008, with a 31% increase in October alone compared to the same month last year.

Cambridgeshire Police have launched a campaign called “Lock it or Lose it” to combat the soaring levels of bike theft in the city, with Sergeant Gordon Morgenthaler working together with the council and Cambridge Cycling Campaign to educate cyclists.

Sergeant Morgenthaler told Cambridge News: ‚ÄúPrevention is the ultimate aim, but we also want people to register their bikes on immobilise.com.” The latter provides security tracking services including security tags for bicycles.

This article was orginally published by Simon MacMichael writing for Road.cc

Stolen phone is returned by Police thanks to Immobilise

The Haringey Independent has reported that a stolen mobile phone was returned to its rightful owner thanks to the Immobilise National Property Register.

While on patrol on October 27, in Seven Sisters Road, Tottenham, Haringey police’s safer transport team stopped-and-searched a 31-year-old man.

He was found to be carrying a mobile phone which was traced by the police* on website Immobilise.com to a woman who had reported it as stolen in September.

The man was arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods and bailed to return to police on Monday, November 9.

PC Matt Fathers, of Haringey Safer Transport team, said:

This shows that by having your valuables registered on immobilise.com, the chances of having you lost or stolen property returned to you, are greater.

The stolen mobile has since been restored to the owner who was very pleased.

The free website allows users to register all of their valuables by serial number inlcuding mobile phones, laptops and even bikes.

If the property is stolen you can use the site to alert police, insurers or second-hand traders so that if they come across the goods they can be returned and help catch criminals.

To read the source report in full please go to: Haringley Independent

* The police search the Immobilise National Property Register and other information via their own search portal the NMPR.

Burglaries, robberies and theft jump as recession hits home – Times Online

The Times recently published an interesting article that is of particular relevance to the Immobilise National Property Register. Richard Ford, a Home Correspondent for the times reported that the latest recorded crime figures support the theory that the in a recession property crimes such as burglary and personal theft increase while violent offences fall.

Keith Bristow, chief constable of Warwickshire, said:

Crime has traditionally increased following periods of economic recession and the three per cent rise in domestic burglary compared to the same period last year is a reminder that we all must remain vigilant.

The Times article contains several interesting facts and statistics and can be found at:

www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article6885455.ece

Bike theft! Not in My Neighbourhood!

bikesafety-beseen200911Police across Taunton and Wellington will be engaged with their partners in various activities under the “Not in My Neighbourhood Week” banner this week to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour.

Not In My Neighbourhood week is a national home office scheme, now in its third year, which encourages people to learn more about work being done to tackle crime and other problems in their area and is a great opportunity for local agencies, the Police and other partners to show-case the work they do to make communities safer and improve their quality of life.

A range of initiatives will happen over the course of the week such as operations to tackle anti social behaviour, dangerous driving, and drugs to more light-hearted events such as crime reduction bingo for elderly residents.

Chief Constable Colin Port said:

Not in My Neighbourhood Week is a great opportunity to proactively work with people to find out what their main concerns are and show the general public that we are tackling the priorities they have identified.

Also launched this week as part of the “Not in My Neighbourhood” activities, Police will add some sparkle and shine to the streets of Somerset West with the start of “Operation Glitter”, their winter-long “Cycle Safe” campaign.

The scheme is being run by staff at Taunton and Wellington Police Stations between November 2009 and February 2010 in partnership with Ralph Coleman Cycles, Halfords, Bicycle Chain, Kings Cycles and Ian’s Cycle Centre.

During the campaign the police will work with cyclists and the public to help promote safe cycling with an aim to reduce the amount of serious road traffic collisions, which happen because cyclists are not properly lit and to reduce cycle thefts at a time when many people receive new bikes for Christmas.

Cyclists found without lights during the official hours of darkness, face being given a fixed penalty notice. However, if lights are then bought, the receipt and the notice can be taken to a police station to have the ticket written off.

Officers will also provide information on how to protect your bike including how to register it on a national police website www.immobilise.com.

Sergeant Anthony Crowter says:

Operation Glitter is a great opportunity to reinforce how important it is to have bicycle lights during the hours of darkness and wear the correct health safety clothing.

This an educational drive to remind people of the legal requirement to use bike lights, we will be delaying a prosecution by requiring people we stop to produce their new lights with a receipt within 7 days. I would rather someone bought a set of lights than have to pay a £30 fine.

This story was orginally published on the Avon & Somerset Police website: www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/