Making specific laws to cover cycle related crime?

Discussion in 'General Cycling Discussions' started by Cyclopathic, 3 Aug 2012.

  1. Cyclopathic

    Cyclopathic Veteran

    I've not thought this through, I'm just throwing it out there for consideration but I have been wondering if it would do any good to make bike theft a specific crime apart from ordinary theft. With the economy the way it is more people will are taking to their bikes and will be for some time. Considering that these days a lot of people are relying on their bikes to get them to work and the amount of hassle and expense involved in being without ones bike and having to replace it I thought that specific laws with harsher sentances could be introduced to help stem the bike crime wave. It seems to me that bikes have become a specific target for theives now ranging from those who nick absolutely anything to get an easy £20 from a latter day pawn shop and misery broker to professional gangs out scoping for specific bikes of high value.
    Reading that back I can guess that most people will probably think that there are laws enough that just need enforcing but still does anyone think specific laws could help. I have to admit some of this might just be driven by my own petty desire to see the guy who nicked my bike get taught a lesson he wouldn't forget.
  2. there is already a law which covers theft - making it more specific will not deter those intent on breaking it...
  3. Night Train

    Night Train Maker of Things

    Greater Manchester
    In my opinion only...
    It would be no more effective then TWOC (taking with out consent) for cars, or joy riding as it is also known.

    All that will happen is that the statistics for thefts will reduce as the crimes will be recorded under a new heading. The initial (relatively) small numbers of recorded reports will just make it seem less of an issue in the great scheme of things.

    Perhaps proper sentencing would be more effective.
    boybiker likes this.
  4. Psycolist

    Psycolist NINJA BYKALIST

    North Essex
    I'm with Night Train.......the laws and penalties are , by and large, already in place. Its the soft sentancing that makes the laws ineffective. A life time ago,I was a door knocker for TV licence evasion. Our area covered 3 different Magistates Courts in west London. At 1 court the offender would be fined the back licence and costs of £15. At another, much more dependant on individual circumstances, if you told a good tale you could get a conditional discharge, if you said you had not paid on principal it could be a couple of hundred quid. At the third it was a couple of hunderd quid regardless. Totally unfair to everyone.
    Night Train likes this.
  5. Gareth

    Gareth Veteran

    I think that all bike theft should be a capital offence with an automatic and speedy application of the sentence on conviction.
    Cyclopathic likes this.
  6. Inertia

    Inertia I feel like I could... TAKE ON THE WORLD!!

    No, Im against making specific laws like this when they are already covered in existing laws.

    Out of curiosity maybe a lawyer could tell me, did we need a specific law to ban phone use by drivers, isn't this covered under dangerous driving?
    Night Train likes this.
  7. Night Train

    Night Train Maker of Things

    Greater Manchester
    If the so called 'petty crime' (stuff that really seriously annoys people and has a strongly negative effect on their lives and well being) was dealt with more severely then it is, then maybe people overall will feel better about society and other crime will either reduce or be dealt with appropriately also.
  8. Sandra6

    Sandra6 Veteran

    It wouldn't matter how many laws, or what they were called, if they weren't enforced and the criminals remained at large.
    Despite bike crime being a high priority locally, nothing is actually being done to catch the people stealing the bikes.
    The officer that came out to see us after my husband's bike was stolen (from the yard in broad daylight with people in the house!) knew the names of three known bike thieves in our locality - so how are they still at large?!
    The current "initiative" involves chaining a skanky looking bike to a railing and waiting to see if anyone tries to nick it. The "bait" bikes are so obvious, and nobody ever tries to take them. I'm not sure what they hope to achieve.
  9. Smokin Joe

    Smokin Joe Legendary Member

    That, unfortunately, is the type of crime that effects mostly only those at the low end of the social and economic scale.

    The great and good who make and enforce the laws live in respectable areas where you don't get eggs and stones thrown at your windows every night because you asked the local yoof if they'd mind not kicking a ball against the side of your house for the best part of the evening.
    marinyork likes this.
  10. OP

    Cyclopathic Veteran

    ...Whose idea of an "estate" is somewhere in rolling countryside with a mile long gated driveway, sculpted hedgerows and salmon river.
  11. OP

    Cyclopathic Veteran

    All suggestions sound fairly sensible. Enough existing laws but they need to be properly enforced with proper penalties.

    I'd love to find a glue that would pretty much weld a thief to the bike once they had mounted it but obviously doesn't go off until then. The only way to get off the bike would be at a hospital where they could be arrested and charged with no fuss.
  12. Stonepark

    Stonepark Senior Member

    Should have tougher punishments, steal 1 bike, 10 lashes, 2 bikes 20 lashes, wouldn't take much to deer most of todays soft criminals
  13. Chris S

    Chris S Veteran

    What's the point? The police rarely investigate bike thefts under current laws.

    Then there's the problem of legally defining a 'bike'. If you restrict it to vehicles propeled by pedals then you include kid's tricycles and pedal cars. If you include all human-powered vehicles then you also include wheel-chairs and exclude electric bikes.
  14. marinyork

    marinyork Resting in suspended Animation

    You make it more their while worth investigating by changing sentencing guidelines, laws and other things. The sorts of things have changed for scrap metal and mobile phones, two very difficult problems. Going to extreme lengths you could say sort out the sort of 'Brick Lane' problem by making people have a licensing system.
  15. CopperCyclist

    CopperCyclist Veteran

    You've already got what you ask for!

    Steal from a shop, and get charged with 'Theft from Shop or Stall'
    Steal by pick pocketing and get charged with 'Theft from Person'
    Steal from your work and get charged with 'Theft by employee'
    and... steal a bike and get charged with the specific offence of 'Theft of Pedal Cycle'.

    The law already differentiates, it's just that across the whole Theft Act, the same sort of sentencing levels are used. What you possibly may wish for instead is a push for harsher sentencing across the board, but that's a whole other can of worms!
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