Lib Dem Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon, has welcomed our local police force's innovative new way of catching bike crooks, which involves using bikes as bait, because of its near 100% success rate. The secret to its success seems to be the satellite tracking devices that are fitted to the bikes - they are activated as soon as they're taken and allow police to follow the thieves to their two wheeled lairs.
Shepherd's Bush has seen a spike in bike theft recently and as the Standard reported recently much of the crime is drived by "steal to order" systems, whereby those wanting to purchase bikes on the cheap simply approach the local bike crook and specify what it is they want.
At the time our local Rozzer Inspector Tony Hirst, of the Hammersmith Safer Neighbourhood Team, told the Standard: “Pedal cycle theft appears to have become the crime of choice for many low-end criminals because of the quick reward and low risk of being caught. We hope to put the fear back into the criminal.”
And now in response to the scheme's runaway success the following exchange took place in the Assembly:
Prevention of bicycle theft
Question No: 2936 / 2010
Will you join with me in congratulating the Metropolitan Police for their six month pilot bicycle theft prevention scheme, operating in Hammersmith & Fulham, which had a success rate of almost 100%? Are you looking to roll this scheme out in other boroughs and if so which ones?
Answer from the Mayor
The successful operation in Hammersmith and Fulham is just one example of the excellent work being carried out by the Metropolitan Police across London to target cycle thefts.
The new Metropolitan Police Service Cycle Task Force, in partnership with TfL, consisting of 30 officers dedicated to tackling cycle thefts will ensure bike security, education and proactive operations in theft prevention across London boroughs. The task force work closely with borough teams to exchange best practice, reduce cycle thefts and raise awareness of cycle security across London.