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Cyclist calls for more attention to be paid to bike crime following thefts at Upminster Station

PUBLISHED: 17:00 05 August 2019

David Taplin with his black Apollo Transition Hybrid bicycle, worth around £100, which was stolen from Upminster Station. Picture: Stuart Ringer

David Taplin with his black Apollo Transition Hybrid bicycle, worth around £100, which was stolen from Upminster Station. Picture: Stuart Ringer

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A cyclist is calling for a more efficient system of handling bike theft in Havering after two of his bikes were stolen from Upminster Station.

David Taplin from Corbets Tey Road, had two of his bikes stolen within a month from Upminster Station in Station Road.

The first, a black Apollo Transition Hybrid bike worth around £100 was stolen on Friday, June 7 and the second, a black B-Twin mountain bike worth around £50 was stolen on Saturday, June 29.

David told the Recorder: "It is clear that bike park is targeted by organised thieves.

"This is right next to the station and Junction Pub. It's very busy so the thieves are hiding in plain sight.

Twelve bikes were stolen from Upminster Station between 2016 and 2019. Picture: Adriana ElguetaTwelve bikes were stolen from Upminster Station between 2016 and 2019. Picture: Adriana Elgueta

"Both my locks - which cost about £20 each - were disabled in the same way."

David, 60, added that bicycle theft may not be "the crime of the century" but expressed his frustration with the process of how the crime is dealt with.

He said that although the council was able to go through its CCTV cameras and find the moment that the bikes were stolen, it couldn't disclose this to the police unless the officers requested it first.

"I think people should be aware that even though the police know that bike park is a high risk spot and is in plain view of functioning CCTV equipment, it seems nothing can be done about it," said David.

A police spokeswoman from the East Area Command said: "There have been a couple of incidents in the last two months where victims have left their bikes tied up to bike railings for the evening on Station Road, Upminster.

"When they have returned the bikes have been missing with a broken lock left on the floor where the bike had been previously secured."

The police spokeswoman advised combining a U-lock with a metal lock for double protection.

"To help keep your bike safe there are many locks that can be used so do your research," she said.

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"Some thieves resort to filling the locking mechanisms with glue to prevent owners being able to unlock their bike and allowing themselves time to return when it is quieter to steal the bike.

"To help prevent this from happening keep your lock pointing downwards towards the ground.

"Where possible secure your bike in an area that is well-lit and covered by CCTV."

According to data from the BBC's data unit, between 2016 and 2019 a total of 12 bikes were stolen from Upminster Station.

This means that there was a 40per cent increase in bike theft from 2017/18 to 2018/19.

Harold Wood station had the most cases of reported bike theft with 26 thefts occurring from 2016 to 2019.

The data was compiled from the British Transport Police (BTP), the Office of Rail and Road, Transport for London.

It only refers to bikes stolen from stations policed by the BTP and does not include those that would have been locked up outside the station.

Across the country some 16,725 bikes have been stolen from 1,245 railway stations over the past three financial years.

The highest number of thefts occurred at stations in London and the south east.

Sam Jones, senior campaigns officer at the charity Cycling UK, said: "Bicycle theft might seem a relatively minor offence - and unfortunately is sometimes treated as such by some police forces - but it's definitely not.

"It's a low risk, high reward crime, with stolen bikes easily changing hands for hundreds or even thousands of pounds on the internet.

"To help the police prioritise this crime, it's important if you're a victim, you do report it to the police."

The borough's neighbourhood policing team will be carrying out a bike marking event at Upminster Park in Corbets Tey Road on Tuesday, August 6 between noon and 3pm.

Visit BTP's website to find out more information about how to keep your bike secure.

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