A newly formed 30-strong police team will target organised cycle theft in the capital. Their approach will involve a mixture of spreading the message about proper bike locking technique to cyclists and also making it harder for bike thieves to operate in London. The team will work with websites such as Gumtree and eBay, which are popular haunts for selling stolen bikes, to close this marketplace for thieves and leave it open just to genuine sellers. They will also be running undercover operations to target the main players in the bike theft market. The hope is that this will drastically reduce the number of thefts which has been steadily on the rise.
Tackling bike theft is a major issue if the Mayor and TfL hope to pursue their target of raising the amount of cycling in the capital. It is also the focus of a campaign by the LCC to “Beat the thief”. The campaign aims to raise awareness through various means including flyers left on bike handlebars and working with local authorities to provide more secure bike parking. The days of scanning the internet and walking up and down brick lane looking for your stolen bike may soon be behind us.By Andreas Kambanis. Andreas publishes an eBook with 25 London Cycle Routes. You can find him on Twitter.