Hackney bike thefts surge during pandemic
- Credit: Metropolitan Police
Bike theft has risen in Hackney with thieves reportedly becoming more "brazen".
Police crime dashboard data shows there were 18 per cent more bike thefts in February 2021 than in 2020.
The number of offences peaked in September last year with 348 offences, a stark rise compared to previous years which saw around half the amount of incidents in the same month.
Richard Cantle, founder of Stolen Ride, told the Gazette: “2021 has not had a good start. There are many factors around the increase, including the overall growth of cycling over the last 12 months. The impact on lives can't be underestimated.”
A video posted on Facebook last Monday shows attempts to steal bikes from Victoria Park in the middle of the day.
Mr Cantle said: “Bicycle thieves appear to be becoming more brazen, no longer worried about using angle grinders in busy locations.
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"It's important to use two Sold Secure Gold/Diamond rated locks in London, with the correct technique to make sure your bike is not an easy target.”
Hackney resident Fabian, 32, who preferred not to share his last name, recently had two bikes stolen. His shed was broken into and another was taken from in front of his flat.
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He said: “I sold my retro electric motorbike out of fear or it being stolen as I didn't have a garage. Recently someone was pushed off their bike in Stoke Newington and a few kids tried to steal the bike.”
Fabian said the demand increased during lockdown and so have prices on the black market.
“Bikes which would usually cost £700-£1200 are being sold for £4000-5000 online, making them a target,” he said.
Lauren Wilkinson, 29, also had her bike stolen from her flat in Hackney Wick earlier this month, after the thief pretended to be a delivery man to gain access to her building. She is waiting to hear back from the police.
The Met said it takes every incident of bicycle theft seriously and recognises the distress the crime causes to victims.
A spokesperson said: "We are also aware that for many, this can be a main form of transport and can therefore greatly disrupt their everyday lives.
“When a report is received officers will carry out every reasonable line of enquiry to recover the property and bring any suspect to justice."
Police advise people to security mark and register their bike at BikeRegister.