Islington the second worst area for bike thefts

Islington is the second worst area for bike thefts in London with nearly 1,600 stolen in a year

�Islington is the second worst area for bike thefts in London with nearly 1,600 stolen in a year.

New figures from The Metropolitan Police Service released by Transport for London (TfL) show there were 1,565 bicycles taken between June 2010 and June 2011 including 185 in May.

Westminster had the highest number of any borough in the capital with 1,788 recorded.

Councillor George Allan, a Liberal Democrat in Clerkenwell ward, said: “There has always seemed to be a high rate of bike thefts in Islington going back 20 years which can be attributed to a high usage and a lack of awareness. It is particularly bad in Clerkenwell where regrettably some prey on the large numbers of bikes being brought in and left outside bars and pubs by young people who are unaware how prevalent bike crime can be.”


Councillor Terry Stacy, leader of the Islington Lib Dems, who has had four bicycles stolen, said: “It is unbelievably frustrating to be a victim of this crime. The police and the council are not clamping down and dealing with this situation.”

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John Ackers, secretary of the Islington Cyclists Action Group, said: “It is a long standing problem and a question of police pushing cycle thefts up their priority list.”

A TfL spokesman said: “Cycle theft across London has decreased by three per cent in the last 12 months despite a 15 per cent rise in the number of cyclists during the same period. Met officers from the TfL-funded Cycle Task Force have made more than 175 arrests for cycle theft-related offences and also security marked more than 12,000 bikes since the 30-strong team were introduced last summer.

“The Cycle Task Force use various tactics including covert operations, high-visibility patrols and intelligence gathering to deter thieves and work closely with all 32 borough based Met Police Safer Transport Teams (STTs).

“Officers from the team in Islington along with the Cycle Task Force conduct planned undercover operations to tackle cycle thieves and are continuously engaging with local businesses to improve cycle security.”