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Cycle crime conference

Birmingham was the venue for the second Steering Clear of Cycle Crime Conference, hosted by BikeRegister, the cycle database, in association with British Transport Police (BTP).

Police officers from 28 police forces attended this one-day cycle crime conference, plus partners from the cycling, education and security sectors.

The theme for this year’s conference was ‘Partnership Working’. The speakers, pictured, highlighted the importance of working together to beat bike crime. Over 140 delegates heard about operations to reduce cycle theft and best practice on cycle crime solutions. Sgt Andy Gregory from West Midlands Police chaired the event, which for the first time featured the 2016 BikeRegister Cycle Crime Awards ceremony (winners listed below).

Presentations from guest speakers were:

• Supt Jenny Gilmer from BTP gave an cycle crime overview detailing bike thefts last year in areas under BTP jurisdiction. She explained the new #LockItMarkIt campaign, which is being promoted across the force as a means to deter theft by promoting locking best practice, with BikeRegister bike marking.

• Det Insp Bob Stokoe covered how BTP deals with cycle crime across the UK, explaining that the theft of cycles accounts for a significant proportion of all the force’s notifiable crime.

• Julie Onwukegu, Head of Crime Reduction at BTP, spoke about partnership working and how BTP with BikeRegister, Met Police and City of London Police are launching the #LockItMarkIt campaign, which will see a joined-up approach to promoting bike marking events in London. Police will be able to use a new facility on the BikeRegister website for them to load details of bike marking events in their area to the site. This will allow the public to search for all their local bike marking sessions at, instead of having to scan media or police force websites.

• Sgt Paul Byrne from States of Jersey Police talked about Operation Locknut, which has used BikeRegister to drive down bike crime by 32pc on the island. All local bike shops support the system and offer bike marking sessions to local residents.

• Emma Crowton from Transport for West Midlands spoke about the rise in popularity of cycling in the region; and the partnership working with West Midlands Combined Authority, which comprises 12 local authorities and three local enterprise partnerships.

• Tim Huxley, Senior Transport Planner from Mouchel Consulting spoke about how to build partnerships to reduce cycle crime; and how cycling should be encouraged as a sustainable form of transport for business and education.

• Roger Seal from ABUS Mobile Security UK & Ireland gave delegates some advice on which lock to choose to protect their bikes. He explained that 54pc of bike theft takes place from sheds and garages because many people feel their bike is safe at home and therefore don’t lock it.

• James Brown, BikeRegister MD, reinforced the importance of using BikeRegister as part of a ‘toolkit’ against cycle crime and praised the work of cycling industry partners such as British Cycling, Cyclescheme and London Cycling.

He spoke of how the BikeRegister online cycle database has more than 530,000 bikes registered on the database and over 250,000 searches performed every year.

BikeRegister is now encouraging cyclists to register their bike as stolen, even if their bike has not previously been registered on the BikeRegister database.

With over 332,000 reported bicycle thefts across the UK in 2015 and all police forces using BikeRegister to check the status of recovered bikes, it is imperative that ALL stolen bikes are reported on regardless of whether they have been marked with a unique BikeRegister code, he added.

James Brown said afterwards: “We are delighted with the success of our second cycle crime conference and are very grateful to the many police forces and industry partners who attended. A highlight of the conference was the 2016 BikeRegister awards ceremony which honoured the great work being done by so many police forces using BikeRegister to fight bike crime.

“BikeRegister is now an essential part of the toolkit that police use to fight bike crime and we were delighted to build upon last year’s conference and be able to share so many more fantastic success stories this year.”

Winners of the 2016 BikeRegister Awards:

Quickest Cycle Recovery

Winner: Lancashire Police – who not only recovered a stolen bike within an hour but also apprehended the bike thieves, all while the bike owner was on holiday …

Largest Cycle Recovery

Winner: Met Police who recovered a total of 23 bikes and returned them to their owners, including 15 bikes belonging to Urban Adventure, an outdoor education facility in Tower Hamlets.

Most Innovative Use of BikeRegister

Joint Winner: Met Police – for using BikeRegister to check the search history of a suspected bike thief

Joint Winner: Warwickshire Police for using BikeRegister to identify a victim in a road traffic accident.

Partnership Project

Joint Winner: Avon & Somerset Constabulary for events and partnerships force-wide

Joint Winner: City Of London Police led by PC Stuart Ford for their tireless work promoting safer cycling and crime prevention.

Bespoke Achievement
Winner: Durham Constabulary for the development of a bespoke BikeRegister frame and Component Marking Kit.


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