2017 Conference & Awards
The third annual Cycle Crime Conference, hosted by BikeRegister, the national cycle database, in association with British Transport Police (BTP), took place in Birmingham on Tuesday, 5th July.
Following on from last year's hugely successful event, officers from 28 police forces attended this one-day cycle crime conference, along with key partners from the cycling, education and security industries
The theme for this year's conference was ‘Bike Crime – Breaking the Cycle’, with speakers highlighting the numerous initiatives being undertaken nationally to tackle bike crime.
Around 150 delegates got the chance to hear about successful operations to reduce cycle theft and share best practice on cycle crime solutions.
Andy Gregory, Former Police Sergeant from West Midlands Police chaired the event, which also featured the 2017 Cycle Crime Awards ceremony (winners listed below) and the results of the 2017 National Cycle Crime Survey.
There were also presentations from a number of expert guest speakers including Detective Chief Inspector Darren Malpas from BTP, whose overview on cycle crime opened the conference.
Sarah Burr from Transport for London spoke about the impact of cycle crime in London, while Fergus Campbell from Gumtree explained what steps the auction site is taking to tighten the net on bike thieves.
Belinda Hopkins from University of Oxford had ideas to counter university bike theft following the successful introduction of a BikeRegister scheme across all Oxford colleges; and Wing Commander Keith Dear gave a fascinating insight into ‘how feeling watched can change behaviour’ of a bike thief.
James Brown, BikeRegister MD, told delegates of a new BikeRegister Police App that is launching to make stolen bike checks simpler.
He explained that BikeRegister is the UK’s national cycle database, with more than 665,000 bikes registered online and over 250,000 searches performed every year.
James Brown said: “We are thrilled with the success of our third Cycle Crime Conference and are very grateful to the many police forces and industry partners who attended.”
However, he warned that a lack of funding to deal with cycle crime is an issue.
“Our concern is that after the big strides made over the last four years, police forces are taking resources away from tackling cycle crime. As a result, we are seeing huge spikes in bicycle theft in many areas of the UK, in some jurisdictions by up to 50%. With cycle journeys rapidly increasing, we should be increasing not decreasing our combined efforts.”
He concluded: “A highlight of the conference was the 2017 Cycle Crime Awards which pay tribute to the great work being done by so many police forces and partners using BikeRegister to fight bike crime.
2017 Cycle Crime Award Winners:
Most Stolen Bikes Recovered (using BikeRegister) - Thames Valley Police (Winner)
Thames Valley Police arrested a man suspected of handling stolen goods, after an enormous haul of 164 bicycles was found in his garden. The 48-year-old was detained after he was caught in possession of two bikes that were registered as stolen. The haul was found at the man’s home in Oxford, where police arrested the man on suspicion of handling stolen goods. Four bikes were listed as stolen on the police checking system, and at least 10 more were listed on BikeRegister. PCSO Ryan Tappin, one of the team tasked with checking the bikes, said: 'I've never seen anything like this before.
Most Amount of Bikes Marked - Metropolitan Police – Hillingdon Safer Transport Team (Winner)
The Hillingdon Safer Transport Team has marked 2,969 cycles with BikeRegister over the period of 2016/17. The team, led by Acting Police Sergeant Lisa Khelifi, has embraced cycle crime reduction, holding regular marking events as well as carrying out their ‘Sheducation’ scheme which targets victims of shed burglary. Targeting both shed break-ins and cycle crime in this way has led to a dramatic reduction in overall burglary and cycle crime on their patch. A/PS Khelifi has also worked with London Borough of Hillingdon and Transport for London to ensure local cycle shops record and mark the majority of all bikes sold in Hillingdon. Through partnership working The Hillingdon STT team and Hillingdon Council are now designing a bespoke cycle rack for the borough.
Most Significant Reduction in Cycle Theft - Lancashire Constabulary (Winner)
Officers from Lancashire Police achieved a 58% reduction in bike theft through the implementation of Operation Derailleur, a multi-stranded operation to prevent and deter theft of pedal cycles. PC Cornthwaite and PC Arundale are Neighbourhood Policing Officers from Lancaster, Lancashire and were responsible for introducing the Operation in 2015.
Focussing on frequent bike marking events, they also introduced a targeted media campaign and improved social media usage and public interaction. They rolled out Operation Derailleur locally and the ‘I Love My Bike Campaign’ countywide in order to highlight cycle theft.
The Partnership Project Award - Transport for West Midlands, Safer Travel Police Team and London Midland (Winner)
To combat an upward trend in cycle-related crime at rail stations, Transport for West Midlands and the Safer Travel Partnership and rail operator London Midland formulated a series of initiatives to address the situation and ensure new and existing cycle rail commuters would have the confidence to cycle and ride including the ‘Love Your Bike’ sessions. The partnership offers secure smartcard access cycle hubs, intelligence-led patrols at cycle crime hotspots, subsidised gold standard D-locks at stations, BikeRegister bike marking and decoy tracker bikes.