Police Claim People Accept Bike Theft in Cambridge


Friday, September 6th, 2013. 11:37pm

On the 5th of September 2013 I observed Cambridge’s West Central Area Committee where councillors have the opportunity to hold the police to account for their performance and get to democratically set the local police priorities. During the policing agenda item the following exchange occurred:

Cllr John Hipkin (Castle, Independent): There’s this kind of culture in Cambridge that bike theft is OK. You know it’s a kind of public property that we can interchange quite freely.
Sergeant Jayne Drury of Cambridgeshire Police: There are a number of factors which come into it. One is yes you are right people do seem to accept bike theft in Cambridge. We deal with lots of people who will say I stole that bike because somebody stole mine and I thought that was all right. People tend to think that is acceptable. Some people.

My View

Cycle theft is no less serious than other theft.

Cycle theft is not a trivial crime. Bikes are often expensive pieces of kit; and there can be significant costs and inconvenience following having one stolen. For many in Cambridge, including me, a bike is our primary form of transport.

Bike theft is a major problem in the city.

Priority Set

Councillors set “bike theft and dangerous cycling” as one of their priorities; though without giving the police any pointers as to what they considered “dangerous cycling” and what exactly it was they wanted tackling.

To address bike theft councillors suggested better education of new students and educational material in Cambridge Matters magazine.

Councillors were particularly keen to warn the public that the seasonal bike theft peak is approaching in Cambridge; they appeared to expect the peak would occur despite them setting their priority.

I have made a video of the full policing item available on YouTube

2 comments/updates on “Police Claim People Accept Bike Theft in Cambridge

  1. David

    I don’t accept bike theft. Like most people I know, I simply can’t believe the police aren’t doing more about it. How hard can it be to fit trackers onto a few bikes, leave them unlocked in crime hot spots, trace them by GPS to see where they’re being taken, and then actually arrest the criminals?

  2. Paul Lythgoe

    My recent experience of bike theft and the response from the police would suggest that the Police accept bike theft. My bike was stolen during a party at our house, and we provided a list of names of boys who were known to have left the party at the time the bike went missing. The police decided not to investigate and closed the case within an hour of it being reported. The resources needed to follow up on the ten names was considered disproportionate to the value of the bike (£500), and the police did not believe that there was a high likelyhood of a successful investigation and prosecution. As a result no effort was spared at all. Contrast this with the resources used in despatching a police helicopter etc in the linked article. http://bit.ly/14T7Hv

    Incidentally if anyone is offered a Red Boardman Road bike for sale we may be able to do the polices job for them.

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