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As any commuter who travels to Fleet station by bike will know, there has long been a history of bike thefts and damage there. Social media is often rife with new and regular reports of people who have had their bikes locks broken and their security chains cut through, as their pride and joy vanishes into the distance.
Unfortunately, despite the regularity of this, there appears to be little action to solve it. Fleet is seen as a prosperous area and with the lack of local policing nowadays, it’s frankly easy pickings. Some have resorted to buying a cheap bike for the trip and others just cross their fingers and hope they aren’t next but when it comes to encouraging environmentally friendly methods of transport, it fails miserably.
Eagle Radio recently highlighted this issue and points out that this is an issue to affect a much larger area as well as Fleet. In a table of bike theft ‘hot spots’ Fleet does still feature third though, with 2018-2019 thefts so far, almost reaching the same total as the entire year of 2017-2018.
Below: Table showing local bike theft figures from Eagle Radio
The article went on to give quotes from both British Transport Police as well as South Western Railway:
British Transport Police comment:
“Unfortunately, bicycles remain a popular target for opportunistic thieves and British Transport Police works closely with train operating companies to improve security at cycle storage facilities throughout England, Scotland and Wales.
To help prevent crime, we urge cyclists to invest in good quality D-locks and ensure their bikes are securely marked and registered at www.bikeregister.com.
Getting your cycle registered helps police trace recovered cycles and return them to their owners. Additionally, it makes your property less appealing to would-be thieves”.
South Western Railway comment:
“There were over 210 million passenger journeys last year on the South Western Railway network.
The likelihood of becoming a victim of crime remains very low, however we take all reports seriously.
Our Security team works very closely with British Transport Police to help reduce bike theft across our network.
We continuously evaluate where to deploy our own Security staff to detect and deter crime. We also hold cycle theft protection workshops at key locations.”
Eagle Radio offers the following advice to anyone who travels by bike in the local area:
Police Advice On Keeping Bikes Secure At Stations:
- Whenever you need to leave you bike, make sure you lock it. Lock the frame and both wheels to a cycle stand or a strong immovable object.
- Whenever possible, lock your bike in a busy, well-lit and CCTV covered area.
- Consider using more than one lock to secure your bike and ensure that you use a recognised security standard lock. D-locks, extension cable or heavy chain locks are certified locking mechanisms. It is important to ensure that yours are up to date.
- Make the lock(s) and bike hard to manoeuvre when parked by ensuring little room between the stand and the bike.
- Locks are considered more vulnerable when they come in to contact with the ground, so keep them off the floor.
- Keep valuables secure. Don’t put them in open baskets or panniers.
Below: Fleet Train Station 2015.
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