NEWS

London Cyclists Alerted To 'Ingenious' Trick By Thieves Using Gaffer Tape On Bike Racks

26/02/2016 11:23 | Updated 26 February 2016

A Labour councillor for South Camberwell has revealed a cunning new trick being used by bike thieves.

Sarah King posted a picture on Twitter showing how thieves had found a way to beat bike locks - by rendering the cycling racks used to secure them to, ineffective.

Her picture, taken in Camberwell, shows a bike rack that thieves had cut through, then used gaffer tape to repair, allowing them to steal a bicycle by removing the rack, rather than having to remove the bike lock.

King wrote: "Cyclists please watch out for gaffer tape on bike racks covering up that they're cut straight through."

King said she had notified Labour councillor for Brunswick Park, Mark Williams, about the ploy and he had since asked Southwark Council to replace the bike rack.

A Metropolitan police spokeswoman said she hadn't heard of thieves using the new trick.

A spokesperson from London Cyclist said she had "never heard of them (thieves) doing that before", adding that it was "pretty depressing".

According to national cycling charity, CTC, hundreds of thousands of bicycles are stolen in England and Wales every year.

Between April 2014 and March 2015, there were 381,000 incidents of bike theft in England and Wales, it said, noting that there had been a "slight increase" recently.

However, CTC noted that "the good news is that over the long term", incidents of bicycle theft are now around 42% lower than in 1995.

Cherry Allan, Policy Officer for CTC said: “The more publicity that can be given to this, the better. Greater awareness will help the local community and the police who patrol our streets to put an end to this crime.

“All cyclists need to be aware of this and watch out for any bike racks covered in gaffer tape which look suspicious, whether it is their bike at risk or someone else’s. Also, please be wary of buying a bike from an unofficial source that seems too good a deal to be true, in case it has been stolen.”

Reaction to the picture has been one of reluctant admiration.

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