Police crackdown leads to a 33% decrease in bike thefts in Woking Town Centre
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A local community initiative piloted by Woking’s Neighbourhood Policing Team has led to a staggering 33% drop in bike thefts in Woking town centre.
The initiative was set up to tackle the issue of the rising number of bike thefts and was launched in June 2020 and ran until February of this year.
During the period of activity, the number of bikes stolen in Woking town centre dropped by 27 down to 55 reports, compared to the same time last year where 82 thefts were reported.
This brilliant result has been achieved by various different methods employed by officers, with support from the Problem Solving Team, including:
- Data gathering of theft hotspots
- Targeted patrols in these hotspots (i.e. the town centre)
- Educational and preventative messaging via social media and Facebook Live
- A dedicated bike marking event - bikes are given a police issued sticker with a unique reference number which is then logged with the bike register and can be used to locate it if it is stolen.
Woking Borough Commander, Inspector Dave Bentley, said: “Bike thefts were a big concern amongst our local community and is something that was being reported to us more and more. The town centre seemed to be the main hotspot of these thefts, so as a local neighbourhood policing team we took these concerns on board and decided to come up with a targeted problem solving solution.
“The initiative has been a huge success and we have seen a significant decrease in the amount of bike thefts in the area. For context, the number of bike thefts has risen by 44% nationally, so we have managed to buck this trend. The co-operation of the local community has been great and crucial to the success of the project.
“Going forward the local policing team will continue with many of the actions that were trialled in the initiative to keep the number of bike thefts as low as possible.”
There are some simple actions that we can all do to minimise the chance of your bike being stolen, including:
- Registering your bike to ‘The Bike Register’
- Securing your bike to a bike rack or somewhere appropriate using a D-lock or similar
- Using a good locking technique (i.e. through the frame and wheel)