London,
18
January
2011
|
00:00
Europe/London

1200 bikes chipped for free in Council and Police operation

Over 1200 Hackney cyclists have benefited from free bicycle microchipping and registration, after the Council and police launched a series of bike-marking events to reduce cycle crime in the borough.

Hackney has a large and enthusiastic cycling community and, according to TfL figures, bicycles are the main form of transport in 5% of all journeys that originate in the borough – the highest level in London. However, 1509 pedal cycles were stolen in Hackney last year, with only a small percentage being reunited with their lawful owners.

When a microchipped and registered bicycle is stolen and recovered by police, the police can use the data contained within the chip to identify the owner, and return the bicycle.

The project, which took place over 18 days and was supported by the Council’s Community Safety Team and Hackney Police’s Safer Neighbourhoods teams, was well received, and the microchips came with a side order of safe cycling tips at several events, courtesy of the Council’s Safer Transport Team.

Councillor Sophie Linden, Cabinet Member for Crime, Sustainability and Customer Services says: “This project has not only highlighted the issue of cycle theft but has given residents the knowledge and tools they need to improve their cycle security and protect themselves against this crime.”

PC Maz Lovegrove of Hackney Borough s cycle crime squad, adds: "Criminals should think twice about stealing a bike in Hackney; many are now fitted with microchips which means police can verify ownership details whilst on routine patrol and reunite stolen bikes with their rightful owners."