Boris and nicked bikes in London


Well, at last I got an answer to my e-mail asking Boris what he was doing about Brick Lane, Google and E bay selling stolen bikes from London.

The answer is a cracking bit of slope shouldered beaurospeak, which I print below for amusement. By the way, does anyone know where all the secure bike stands they dribble on about actuually are? And are they making any difference?

I did think of replying, then, on reflection, thought it would be a waste of time.

Thank you for your email to the Mayor which has been passed to me to respond. Your comments have been noted.

I have passed your comments to the MPS Safer Neighbourhood team (Weavers ward) for their information and have requested an update on current activity regarding stolen bikes in the Brick Lane area. They can be contacted further at Brick Lane Police Station, 25 Brick Lane London E1 6PU or on 020 8721 2043.

It is the responsibility of the local authority and the MPS, if necessary, to ensure that illegal trading is dealt with appropriately. Tower Hamlets Market Service has informed me that illegal trading of bicycles, DVDs etc is a practice unfortunately adopted by some unregistered market traders. To raise the issues you have described, please contact the Head of Markets at:

Tower Hamlets Market Service,
29 Commercial Street,
London E1 6BD
Tel: 020 7377 8963

As you are probably aware, Transport for London is working closely with local authorities and other partners, like the London Cycling Campaign, to promote bike security, use of good locks and develop new initiatives for bike security. Manufacturers are coming up with a range of new alternatives as this area of business expands and many have been trialed with London boroughs.

Local authorities are also working with Transport for London to provide locking points in public areas. In addition to this there has been bike security of various designs installed in conjunction with schools and further education providers and businesses, as a safer alternative to locking bikes on the street. It is an area that needs further expansion to cater for the growing numbers of cyclists.

Please visit Transport for London's website for information on cycle security

Thank you again for your email.

Yours sincerely

Nathan Winch
Community Safety Unit

Dear Boris (& Team)

I am writing about a matter which, in the great scheme of things, is small; but which causes great upset and offence to the individuals involved.

There are people in London making a very fat living out of bicycle theft, with stolen bikes often fetching between £450 and £1000 pounds being sold in the Brick Lane market, and via Ebay and Gumtree.

There is a perception among cyclists that the police are either not interested or do not have the time to deal with this. A little effort here could make a great deal of difference to the lives of many. After all, most people who are cyclists are not well heeled and become emotionally attached to their cycles.

Do have a look here:
for more information. London has a terrific record on encouraging cycling, and an effort to control those who make a large sums out of bike theft would contribute to that effort. Petty theft and low level crime really matters to those subjected to it.

Regards (And keep up the good work!)!

David Craig
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pre-talced and mighty
that isn't too impressive a reply. Particularly since the police do nab bike thieves in Brick Lane
I'd be tempted to reply anyway. Perhaps with

Imbaddling boodlebong. Whimple dingas, et scratifiously pongoficating noodletwizzles. Es ista nockertaddle, ef rimbaudwailing (gefeliicattle somberajist) cooli cooli gong howrrated ffralle. Nabananas.

Which is about as useful as the response that you received.


pre-talced and mighty
I think that that Mr. Winch is guilty of simply not knowing his stuff. The police are making efforts on bike theft, and arrests are made in Brick Lane. And Mr. Winch might have mentioned the 27 strong team of police cyclists who are majoring on bike theft referred to in the link above.

FNRttCers can expect the very best advice on bike security....


slower but further
SE London
My main security strategy is to park my unpretty bike securely near some prettier less securely locked bikes. The assumption being mine will be the last one left standing. Now if everybody makes their bike more secure (and we know that the thieves can break anything they want, some just take a little more effort) then my last defence is down ...

Hence IMHO the issue is to target thieves rather than security locks. Secure places and marking with a better and secure frame number database would be good.

But really good to see the committment.


Legendary Member
Posted by Yorkshiregoth in a new thread

A 30-strong Police Cycle Task Force hits the streets of London today.

The Cycle Task Force is funded by TfL and forms part of the Metropolitan Police Service’s Safer Transport Command team. It will patrol London’s streets by bike, investigating and tackling cycle theft and criminal damage to bicycles. Alongside local Safer Transport Teams, the new team will also run sessions on bike marking and registration and give London’s cyclists advice on how to lock up their bikes securely in order to deter theft.

The Mayor has promised Londoners a cycle revolution in the Capital and the new policing team will support a draft Cycle Security Plan that details how increased police action will target cycle theft and vandalism, as well as:

• Tackling organised cycle theft through proactive investigations and operations
• Disrupting the trade of stolen second-hand bikes and bicycle parts through working with online websites such as eBay, and running undercover operations and high visibility patrols in hot spot areas
• Targeting bike theft and the handling of stolen bicycles through covert investigation
• Working with cycle user groups and local authorities to participate in a range of London cycle events and initiatives to promote cycle security and reduce cycle theft
• Providing 66,000 additional cycle parking spaces across the Capital by 2012 as well as introducing measures such as CCTV and better lighting at cycle parking locations to help prevent theft and deter criminal behaviour

TfL is also working with manufacturers, retailers and other partners to introduce a code of practice to encourage second hand cycle retailers and internet vendors to follow new guidelines before selling a second hand bicycle. Plans to establish one single database to record details of all marked bikes in London are underway and this will help police and retailers identify and verify the legitimate owner of bikes that have been stolen or are being resold.
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