Bike grading scheme launched to tackle bike theft

Bike grading scheme launched to combat cycle theft

Reporter:

Simon Meechan

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Bike grading scheme launched to tackle bike theft

Bicycle shops, the police and the borough council have launched a joint initiative to tackle cycle thefts.

The Royal Borough's community partnership has supplied community wardens and police community support officers with bike grading cards.

They will attach these cards to bikes with a rating of how secure the bicycle is.

On Tuesday, April 22, they were out at Maidenhead Railway Station grading locked up bikes.

The card offers advice on protecting bikes from thieves, and offers discounts on locks at several bicycle shops.

DNA Cycles in Maidenhead High Street are taking part, alongside Windsor based The Bike Company, 700, and Stows as well as Wellington Trek from Ascot.

PCSO Abbi Ellis, community warden Robin Skinner, community warden Ashley Burton and transport manager Gordon Oliver

There were 231 bike thefts in Windsor and Maidenhead in the 2013-14 financial year. That is a two per cent drop on the year before, when 235 bikes were reported stolen, while 454 were taken in 2011-12.

Last year police only caught a crook for nine of the 231 thefts, a detection rate of 3.9 per cent. In the previous 12 months 21 thieves were prosecuted, with a detection rate of 8.9 per cent.

Chief Inspector Townsend, the deputy area commander for Windsor and Maidenhead said the two per cent education is a 'step in the right direction' but called for a bigger drop in the coming year.

He explained that security grading initiatives play a 'key role' in educating cyclists.

He added: "A bike can be a very costly item and therefore having the correct lock is critical to prevent it from being stolen."

Cllr Geoff Hill, the Royal Borough's cabinet member for highways and transport said the area has 'excellent' bike storage facilities.

He added: "Unfortunately in the borough we also have people who are on the look-out to steal bikes."

The partnership recommends securing both the front and rear wheels, locking both the frame and wheel.

It also advises using a study 'D-lock' to secure a bike, locking it tightly and making sure the lock is facing downwards to make lock-picking difficult.

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