Cycle Crime Is Everyone’s Responsibility8 Nov 2019
A new Cycle Safety & Security Plan has been devised following growing frustration by cyclists across the UK that the police are not listening to their concerns when they become a victim of cycle crime.
However, according to the report’s instigator National Lead for Cycle Crime Superintendent Mark Cleland, while the police are under competing pressures and priorities, it is wrong to assume that tackling cycle crime is for the police alone to focus on.
“Cycle Crime is everyone’s responsibility,” said Supt Cleland. “If we truly wish to make the UK a cycling nation and contribute to national walking strategies to reduce pollution, reduce congestion and improve the nation’s health and fitness then we all need to address the blockers that stop us doing that.”
The plan sets out what needs to be done to remove one of those blockers, cycle crime.
“By considering Enforcement, Engagement, Education, Environment and Evaluation, over the next three years we will look to reduce cycle crime. That will help encourage those who have been victims of crime to feel safe and be more confident in cycle ownership,” said Supt Cleland, who credited Hannah Herbert from West Mercia Police for her insight and analysis of the complex data that has contributed to the plan.
A cycle crime profile was produced in January 2019 following a number of workshops which were held across the UK to consult on the priorities and actions needed to develop a national Cycle Safety & Security Plan that would deliver the aims of cycling and walking strategies UK wide.
James Brown, MD of BikeRegister was involved in the workshop process, offering advice on bike marking and registration as quick and effective ways for police and retailers to identify the legitimate owner of a bike and helping to eliminate the trade in stolen property.
Supt Cleland said: “This plan will be taken forward by a collective of organisations across the UK with the sole purpose of improving standards that will positively impact on cycle safety and security.”
The plan is divided into five themes and sets out ideas and targets that should be implemented over the next three years to reduce cycle crime.
Enforcement of existing legislation against those who commit cycle related offences including all aspects of acquisitive crime and those aspects that impact on cyclists safety. Establishment of regional enforcement partnerships. Work with existing Safer Travel teams in cycle crime and safety hotspots to prioritise reducing crime and improving safety. Establish options to improve the cycle safety and security resilience within existing police services to retain the expertise in tactical options and provide a national drive to target this acquisitive crime type. Working with existing campaigns to target offenders that impact on cycle crime and safety.
Education of current cyclists, those new to cycling and potential cyclists on safety and security awareness by improving their knowledge of prevention techniques, responsible ownership and use as well as practices and behaviour through public awareness, social marketing and media. Review, design and build existing educational materials to encourage good security practice, raise awareness of cycle marking and registration and roll out a national programme of cycle crime prevention amongst cyclists, retailers, manufacturers and resellers.
Environmental measures including improving the design and location of cycle storage solutions and designated areas for cycle storage, CCTV and lighting to contribute towards cycle crime reduction and deter criminal behaviour as well as supporting options that will contribute to a reduction in cyclist injuries. Increase the national provision for secure cycle parking. Develop best practice around cycle parking plans and provide guidance to partners on what good practice looks like. Develop security provisions for local cycle hire schemes.
Engagement with retailers, manufacturers, Police, local authorities, cycling groups, cyclists and road safety partnerships to enable the prioritisation in reducing the risk of cycle crime, both theft and damage and improving the safety of cyclists. Work with manufacturers, retailers and property register/database companies to establish and promote a National Police Chief Council compliant registration system for all bicycles in the UK so that police and retailers can identify and verify the legitimate owner of a bike and contribute towards stamping out the blackmarket trade in stolen property. Establish an effective code of conduct for sellers, secondhand resellers, online retailers, trading standards and insurance companies. Engage with cycling retailer and manufacturing forums to ensure a consistent approach to marking, registration, development of security measures and develop innovative security and safety measures.
Evaluation of the activity included in the national Cycle Security & Safety Plan to understand the associated impact of those measures and the long term monitoring and analysis of the problem. Improve how crime recording data is accurately collected across police forces and improve the sharing of data relating to cycle crime and safety. Activity relating to this plan to be monitored via the Cycle Crime & Safety Working Group and through UK wide partnership meetings developing new approaches to improving safety and tackling crime. Fully understand the problem by carrying our accurate data analysis so that we have a single version of the truth that will help steer the activity in this plan to make significant inroads into improving cycle safety and security.
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