HACKNEY has stolen top place in the bike-theft league from Westminster. For 2013-2014, 1,376 cases were reported in Hackney, followed by Wandsworth, 1,366 then Westminster 1,341, which last year knocked up almost 300 more.
Bicycles are most vulnerable when left in street racks during the day, which suggests that Hackney council’s just-started provision of lockable, rentable bike huts could cost the borough its prime position next year. The huts are uglier than necessary but any reduction in crime is welcome.
The Cycle Task Force says that districts with lots of student and other flat-dwellers are likely to have a high incidence of thefts because they lack indoor bike spaces.
In Brent bike theft rose by 37% to 451 and in Croydon by 23% to 328. The number in Tower Hamlets fell from 1,468 to 1,316.
Bexley, deep in suburban South London, recorded 117 thefts, the lowest number in the capital. Police claim the total has fallen.
It does not pay, however, to dwell overly on police statistics, some of which have lately been found to be, ahem, flawed. Better to try to get safer parking facilities and a good lock, which you should use even inside a building or plant. And heed the police’s cycle security advice.
Hamish Scott 290414
* News today 1 May 2014 of a report written after this story places further doubt on police crime recording.
* Backstory: How to get a free bike hut
* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained.