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Police cycle squad targets traders peddling dodgy bikes


Comment by Peter J Rose. Secretary UNITE Cab Section, London Branch.

With the recent news that, cab related sexual offences has risen by 54% in the period 2009/10. I discovered with interest this press release from earlier this year.

The taxi trade is constantly being told that there is no further funding available to enforce the misdemeanour’s of the capital’s private hire trade. So it would seem curious, given the news in, press release 23rd September 2010 that TfL have managed to find the resources to add this initiative to the Met’s, Safer Transport  Command team.

It also can’t go unnoticed that this increase in cab related sexual offences has coincided with cuts in budget for the Safer Travel a Night scheme, where it involves the London taxi trade.

If you’ve not read it yet please give my recent article Cock up or Conspiracy a look. Coming soon, ‘Policy of the blind eye’.

TfL press release, 7th June 2010.

Dedicated policing team to tackle problem of stolen and vandalised bikes in London. Draft Cycle Security Plan sets out strategy to address cycle theft.

A new, 30-strong Police Cycle Task Force hit the streets of London today, as the Mayor, Transport for London (TfL) and London’s police forces published a draft plan for tackling cycle theft and vandalism in the Capital.

The Cycle Task Force is funded by TfL and forms part of the Metropolitan Police Service’s Safer Transport Command team.

They will patrol London’s streets by bike, investigating and tackling cycle theft and criminal damage to bicycles.

Alongside local Safer Transport Teams, the new team will also run sessions on bike marking and registration and give London’s cyclists advice on how to lock up their bikes securely in order to deter theft.

The Mayor has promised Londoners a cycle revolution in the Capital and the new policing team will support a draft Cycle Security Plan that details how increased police action will target cycle theft and vandalism, as well as:

  • Tackling organised cycle theft through proactive investigations and operations
  • Disrupting the trade of stolen second-hand bikes and bicycle parts through working with online websites such as eBay, and running undercover operations and high visibility patrols in hot spot areas
  • Targeting bike theft and the handling of stolen bicycles through covert investigation
  • Working with cycle user groups and local authorities to participate in a range of London cycle events and initiatives to promote cycle security and reduce cycle theft
  • Providing 66,000 additional cycle parking spaces across the Capital by 2012 as well as introducing measures such as CCTV and better lighting at cycle parking locations, which can help prevent theft and deter criminal behaviour

Targeting theft

TfL is also working with manufacturers, retailers and other partners to introduce a code of practice to encourage second hand cycle retailers and internet vendors to follow new guidelines before selling a second hand bicycle.

Plans to establish one single database to record details of all marked bikes in London are underway and this will help police and retailers identify and verify the legitimate owner of bikes that have been stolen or are being resold.

Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor of London’s Transport Advisor, said: ‘The Mayor’s vision is for a cycling revolution in the Capital and key to that is the need for greater cycle security.

‘With ever greater numbers of Londoners taking to two wheels we need to make sure when they park up their beloved bicycle they can do so in confidence it will be there when they return.

‘We want this new cycle squad and the actions set out in our plan to reassure everyone who cycles in the Capital of our focus on making London as safe and secure as possible, and the best big cycling city in the world.’

Improving security

Commander Mark Gore, Safer Transport Command, said: ‘The Safer Transport Command and TfL are working together to create an environment where all cyclists and potential cyclists feel safe and secure.

‘With the introduction of our dedicated Cycle Task Force, we will robustly tackle cycle theft, and improve cycle security across the Capital.’

Steve Burton, TfL’s Director of Community Safety, Enforcement and Policing, said: ‘London’s a great place to get around on a bike, but the experience of having your bicycle stolen or damaged, or the fear that it will happen, stops many people from cycling – which makes us even more determined to crack down on cycle theft in the Capital.

‘The new Cycle Task Force policing team will be dedicated to cracking down on bike thieves but will also work with Londoners to show them the steps they can take, such as ensuring they lock their bicycles securely, to help prevent themselves from becoming victims of theft or vandalism.

Steve Burton TfL

Steve Burton is Director of Community Safety, Enforcement and Policing at Transport for London (TfL). The Directorate includes the Transport Policing Team who have responsibility for developing TfL strategies and policies relating to transport policing and community safety on the transport system in London. The team also has responsibility for the performance and contract management of TfL’s agreements with policing agencies for policing services, these currently provide over 2,000 uniformed officers on London’s transport network. In addition, the team provides crime reduction, problem solving, project management, mapping and analysis services around TfL’s policing agenda. In addition, the Directorate contributes to TfL’s overall operational security agenda and has responsibility for revenue protection on London’s bus network and camera enforcement of traffic regulations.

Taken from the Safer London Foundation website.


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