MPs Take Secure Route on All Party Bike Ride26 Jun 2007
Bikes belonging to MPs and Peers were visibly marked with a permanent security marking before they set off on this year’s All Party Parliamentary Bike Ride.
As politicians and Lords gathered recently on College Green, in front of the Houses of Parliament, a total of 85 bikes were marked by security company Selectamark. All of the bikes belonged to parliamentary employees who use their bikes to cycle to work, including Lords, MPs and even House of Commons catering staff.
The bikes have also been placed on a unique online bike register called bikeregister.com, which is owned by Selectamark, and is a secure police-approved database. If a bike that has been marked with a special serial number is stolen and recovered, it can be easily traced back to its owner by using bikeregister.com.
The annual All Party Parliamentary Bike Ride aims to promote cycling for all as part of its Bike2Work campaign. This year it had a special Tour de France theme, which saw around 25 MPs and peers riding the route of the Prologue course (7.9km) of the Tour de France, including Transport Minister Tom Harris, Emily Thornberry MP and chair of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, Transport for London’s Adrian Bell and Minister for Sport Richard Caborn.
The Prologue route passes some of London’s most famous landmarks, including Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park and the Houses of Parliament. It will be cycled on Saturday, 7th July by around 200 of the world’s greatest cyclists as they race to wear the prestigious yellow jumper on the first stage of the Tour de France. It is the first time London has been used as the starting point.
Chris Peck, organiser of the All Party Parliamentary Bike Ride, said: “Sometimes bikes can be parked for a long time within the parliamentary complex, but using bikeregister.com to mark them makes it easier for police to move them if they need to for security purposes. The fact that the bikes are registered online means that they can easily be traced back to their individual owners.”
Emily Thornberry, MP for Islington South and Finsbury, who was one of the MPs to have her bike marked, said: “I think bikeregister.com is a great idea, it makes bikes much less attractive to would-be thieves. My family have had four bikes stolen in four years - once they were gone that was it, if they had been marked and registered on the bikeregister.com database we might have got them back.”
The scheme was initially recommended by Inspector Timothy Barfoot of the Met Police to the Serjeant at Arms Department at the House of Commons. The department, which approved and funded the scheme, is responsible for parliamentary security including gate-keeping, and the administration of various services like visitor tours, and car and cycle parking.
Inspector Barfoot, who also serves at the House of Commons, was responsible for co-ordinating the marking event together with Selectamark’s managing director Chris Taylor and business development director Jason Brown.
Inspector Barfoot said: “In these times of heightened security, the use of bikeregister.com will help us easily identify bikes that are bought onto the parliamentary estate. We chose bikeregister.com because it was a Secured By Design product – which means it is a police-preferred product. Also I have seen it used successfully in other Met Office mass-marking campaigns.”
In fact, a recent mass-marking campaign carried out by the Met Police reduced bike theft by 75%.
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