11:32AM, Thursday 05 May 2022
A Maidenhead resident is calling for more measures to tackle bike thefts at the town’s railway station after her bike was stolen.
Tara Sutthoff was left ‘gutted’ last Thursday night after she returned from a trip to London to find her bike, which she had left locked in the rack, was gone and only a cut lock was left.
The Maidenhead Riverside resident said that she was ‘horrified’ when she looked at the rack and saw evidence of at least six other disassembled bikes and cut bike chains left on the rack.
“It looked like a graveyard for bikes,” she said.
Tara added that she has since discovered that bike theft at Maidenhead railway station is a ‘very common occurrence’, explaining that she had heard that similar experiences have been posted on social media.
The 55-year-old is now calling for more action to be taken, including having more cameras, catching those responsible and informing people that this is a ‘hotspot’ for bike theft.
She added there should be more signage at the rack telling people what is happening, with figures of how many bikes have been stolen.
Tara said that if wardens and police officers going past the rack notice that someone’s bike has been removed, partially removed or if the cut chain is left, they should put a tag on it to let the person know they have been the victim of a crime and to please contact the authorities.
Discussing her bike being stolen, Tara said she felt like it was a ‘kick in the teeth’, and like she had been ‘mugged’.
She said: “We all want to be more sustainable and everything, but if we can’t leave our bikes [at] places then what can we do?”
Tara added: “I just feel this is not how to encourage people [to] active travel.”
A spokesperson for British Transport Police, said: “British Transport Police is aware of a number of bike theft incidents at Maidenhead station.
“Officers will continue to proactively patrol the station day and night to deter bike thieves and any other offenders who may wish to commit crime.
“Anyone who witnesses anything suspicious can text us on 61016 or call 0800 40 50 40.”
A spokesperson for the Royal Borough said: “The bike rack at the train station forecourt is covered by CCTV and we continue to work with Thames Valley Police on identifying offenders.
“The council’s community wardens visit the station, and the bike rack specifically, when out on patrol in Maidenhead town centre. We also run regular community safety stands offering information and advice to the public, including how to keep their bikes secure.
“If someone’s bike is stolen or tampered with they should report this to the police by calling 101, along with a date, time and description, so the control room can review the CCTV to identify the offender(s).
“We are always looking to enhance crime prevention and liaise closely with other agencies and departments within the borough. If you have any suggestions, please email the community wardens team at firstname.lastname@example.org and these can be shared with our partners.”
Thames Valley Police confirmed that it has received a report of the bike theft. However, it added that as the incident took place at the train station, it comes under the jurisdiction of British Transport Police and so ‘the case is in the process of being transferred over to them’.
Paramedics were called to the scene of a medical emergency in Maidenhead on Monday morning (June 27).