….was opened by the Deputy Mayor who arrived by bike (although it later transpired that it had been borrowed from her son. ) She talked about encouraging commuters to leave their cars at home ..but the remark about this leaving space for parents returning from driving their children to school suggests that the message has not fully got through. The Network Rail person’s emphasis on planning for future increase in demand was more welcome.
We get : lots of decent cycle parking – and there is space between the double decker racks to pull down the upper and load your bike from the end- , a pump which doubles as a maintenance stand and a chained set of tools all overlooked by a security camera with info on trains and weather on a monitor.
Now all we need is good routes to cycle to the station !
Bicycle thefts continue Over the last 4 weeks 105 individual bicycles have been stolen, worth a total value of £63,820. The peak area for thefts is Teddington with a mixture of bikes stolen from the street and the garden (mainly sheds overnight) with other locations including Twickenham town centre, Sandycoombe Road, St Margaret’s, Kew Road, Richmond and Second Avenue to Barnes High Street. Suspects include white males between 15-20 either alone or with 1 other. 55% offences took place overnight with offences during the day mainly being from the street between 12:00 to 19:59. Specialized was the most popular type of bike stolen. Tracker bikes have been deployed to various locations.
Have you had your bike tea leafed yet? Because the downside of being a borough where lots of people cycle is that there’s lots of bikes being stolen.
So here’s some key tips from the Police who attended the Cycling Liaison Group. You’ve probably heard a lot of these before, but we were surprised at how some obvious ones are still being ignored by locals.
Lock it to something solid
Lock it through the frame
Spend some money on your lock. You don’t need to spend the earth on it, but you can be fairly sure that if you spend less than £20 on it, it probably won’t do a very good job for you
Lock it to a proper stand – British Transport Police told us that more bikes are stolen from ‘ad-hoc’ locking places like railings, than proper stands.
And, ideally, use two locks. This might be a bit of a pain, but putting two locks on a bike and following the above rules is really the best way to go about making sure no-one nicks your wheels. We’ve collated lots of advice on trying to avoid becoming another theft statistic on our bike security page.
Here’s Carlton Reid (from BikeBiz) with a video outlining all the key tips.
And finally, don’t give up hope! London Cyclist has some tips on looking for a lost bike
On average, across the borough, 4.5 bikes are reported stolen every day (that’s a lot of unicycles..)
There has been an 152% increase in the number of reported thefts between 2007 and 2012, with a step change in 2010. Either the Mr Big of cycle theft has moved into the area in 2010, or perhaps there is better reporting and we are seeing a truer picture?
In the first 7 months of this year there have already been 938 thefts, an increase of 3% over 2011
Several wards have shown an improvement – Barnes; Ham, Petersham & Richmond Riverside; Hampton and Hampton Wick wards are on track this year to nearly halve the number of bikes stolen in 2011
Thefts have increased significantly in several wards this year, particularly Fulwell and Hampton Hill, North Richmond and West Twickenham
While a greater number of bikes are recovered, due to the increase in thefts it amounts to only 5% of bicycles reported stolen
The chart below shows where the thefts have occurred since 2010 (click on the chart to see a larger version).
We asked the police in Richmond what they were doing to tackle cycle theft in the Borough and they provided the following statement:
“Richmond upon Thames SNT’s regularly perform cycle marking at a variety of community events and locations. SNT’s also operate an ‘on demand’ system to mark cycles for the public. Since inception, the total number of cycles security marked across the borough is just approaching 12500 (as of 15/08/2012). They also plan their patrols around the locations of reported crime and the feedback received from Police Liaison Group meetings with local residents. The Richmond Borough Safer Transport Team do a lot of work around the borough’s transport hubs to deter and prevent thefts. They have run and continue to do so, pro active operations targeted at bicycle thieves and their uniformed presence at rail stations is a key deterrent. Richmond Borough Police also work closely with the Richmond Local Authority as part of the Community Safety Partnership. They post cycle crime prevention advice via both the Council and Police websites as well as through Twitter. Communication on cycle crime prevention advice is provided by Operation Lockout at regular events in collaboration with SNT’s. Pan London the Metropolitan Police Service has The Cycle Task Force which is a dedicated unit to tackle cycle theft and improve cycle security across London.”
Here at RCC, earlier this year we contacted Richmond Police, with the offer to promote their cycle marking events on our website and in our monthly email newsletter – so far North Richmond, South Richmond and Kew Safer Neighbourhood Teams have taken us up on our offer and we hope others will too. We’ve also produced an updated Bike Security page, with advice on how to lock your bike securely, getting it marked and minimising your chances of becoming a statistic in our next round up in two years time. As a local cyclist shared with us, it’s not fun losing your pride and joy.
On Thursday 5th April 2012 Kew Safer Neighbourhood officers found an abandoned bike at Kew Retail Park TW9. Officers carried out checks on the frame and realised it had been a bike that had been property marked by police. They checked the bike marking database to find it had been actually security marked by Richmond SNT police officers. Through the database they found the owners details and restored the bike to him. It had been stolen but not reported to police at the time of finding.
PCSO Lorraine Childs of Kew SNT stated “This is an excellent example of why it is so important to get your bike security marked by police. But for it being marked we would never have been able to trace its owner and return it. When we stop individuals on bikes we always check to see if the bike has either been reported stolen or if the bike has been security marked by police. Sometimes it takes a while for the owners to realise their bike has been taken and so at times checking the bike is security marked is the only way for police to carry out checks there and then on the street and hopefully arrest the thieves and return the bikes to their rightful owners. If you want your bike marked please just contact your local Safer Neighbourhood Team. Contact details of your local team can be found on www.met.police.uk
Bike Theft. – the police reported 506 bikes stolen (from street ?) and 683 “non-residential burglaries (mainly bikes stolen from sheds) for the year so far. The latter is a 7% increase. I did ask whether this usually unlocked sheds – apparently not always. Expensive bikes are being targeted. One decoy bike was stolen and quickly taken to Westminster. The Borough Commander – CSI Chalk who is himself a regular cyclist – will send on more details and I will add them here.
Sgt Boulton of Richmond Park Safer Parks Team told me that they had a problem with cyclists not wanting to mar their lightweight bikes with a lock and then leaving them outside a cafe. They will tag bikes on request.
Usual complaints from an individual about cyclists on the footway in Broad Street , Teddington. Why on earth would anyone do that when congestion traffic-calms the road pretty effectively ?