Police try to tackle high level of bike thefts in Hackney

Bike thefts in Hackney are amongst the highest in London, according to Met Police figures, and now the borough’s officers have launched a number of new initiatives designed to tackle the crime head-on.

The Queensbridge Safer Neighbourhoods Team (SNT) set up an undercover operation to catch bike thieves, and swooped as would-be robbers made off with bicycles belonging to the Met.

The operation, which took place in Broadway Market on Friday, July 6, saw a 43-year-old man charged and remanded in custody to attend Thames Magistrates’ Court last Monday (July 9).

He pleaded guilty, but walked free from court after his sentence of 60 days’ imprisonment was suspended for 12 months.

Three youths were also caught trying to steal bikes, but they will attend the “Triage” diversion programme, run by officers and Hackney Council to work with children who have not been previously convicted of an offence.

Hackney officers are also offering bike-marking days, such as the event held at London Fields Cycles last Friday (July 13), to make sure bikes have security markings to either prevent thefts or ensure they can be returned to their owners if they are stolen.

Assistant Chief Constable Alan Pacey, of British Transport Police’s territorial policing and crime unit, said: “We urge commuters to attend events like this to ensure that their bikes are marked and registered, which makes them easier to track down in the unfortunate event of theft.

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“Our officers regularly conduct cycle crime awareness surgeries with train operators at stations across London to offer crime prevention advice.”

Statistics show 1,517 bikes were stolen in Hackney last year – the third worst figures in London, behind neighbouring borough Islington at 1,607 and 1,837 in Westminster.

The year before, 1,548 Hackney bikes were stolen, while Westminster saw a staggering 2,145 robberies.

A Hackney Police spokeswoman reminded cyclists to follow basic security advice, such as always locking the bicycle with a good-quality D-lock, avoid parking in an isolated place, and removing detachable items, such as lights.