11:00AM, Saturday 05 June 2021
Concerns have been raised about the level of security at the bike racks outside Maidenhead railway station.
Though there is CCTV covering the bike racks – and warnings of CCTV on signage nearby – residents have had bikes stolen from the racks on several occasions in the past year.
Rob Good commutes to work via train daily and cycles to and from the station. Within the past month he has suffered two bike thefts at the same location.
The first time, his bike was stolen despite parking the bike ‘right under’ the CCTV camera, on the raised racks which are difficult to access.
Rob made an online report and received a response in less than 24 hours.
He was told the police had ‘explored all reasonable lines of enquiry’ but had ‘not been able to find enough evidence to bring a potential suspect to justice.’
Then, on Friday, Rob’s front wheel was nabbed from his replacement bike, despite using a sturdy D lock on the bike frame.
“I had a really long day at work and came back to see that,” he said. “I was on the phone to 101 for a ages and they told me it’s not their issue, it’s the British Transport Police.
“I know it’s not a major crime, it’s more the inconvenience as I used the bikes every day,” said Rob.
“But it would be nice to know more could be done. No one really seemed to take responsibility.
“They have all these signs at the bike racks at the station, from the police, saying they are watching – but obviously they’re not,” he said.
After posting about the experience on social media, several other residents replied to talk about their own experiences.
A number of residents struggled to get justice for the thefts even when they spotted the bikes being resold online or knew where the bikes had been taken.
A spokesman for GWR said: “While the number of thefts is low, we continue to work with the British Transport Police to maintain and improve the security of our station environments, and encourage cyclists to follow their advice in helping to deter crime by investing in good quality D locks and registering their bike.”
A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said:
“Lines of enquiry (for the first crime) were CCTV, presence of witnesses and whether there was a known or identifiable suspect.
“Unfortunately, this did not result in any positive lines of enquiry, and so therefore, the investigation has been filed.
“This is filed pending any fresh information coming to light.”
A council spokesman said: “A CCTV camera has been adjusted to cover any illegal activity surrounding the bike racks following a series of thefts.
“We continue to work with the police on identifying offenders and patrols in this area by the council’s Community Wardens, as well as the police Neighbourhood Team, have been increased.”
British Transport Police had not responded to a request for comment at the time of going to press.
Police were called to the River Thames between Cookham and Bourne End yesterday at about 3pm, to reports that a teenage boy had entered the water but hadn’t been seen to leave.