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Police gear up for spike in bike crimes

Bike theft
BBC

Police are gearing up for a spike in crime involving pushbikes as the summer arrives and lockdown rules are eased.

More than 50 officers in Camden and Islington, will be involved in an operation with Transport for London this week, targeting criminals who use bikes.

DCI Shaun White from the Metropolitan Police said there is generally a rise in moped and pushbike-enabled crime during the summer.

A crackdown on moped robbery gangs, Operation Venice, has seen criminals opt for pedal bikes instead, which are easy to ride down alleys and on the pavement, and often difficult to trace.

They are used in a wide range of crimes, from snatching phones to street robberies, drug dealing and violent crime.

He said: "We've tried to get ahead of the curve. What we've noticed is in the summer months usually there's a spike in moped-enabled crime and pedal cycle-enabled crime.

"Offenders who used to use mopeds have now decided to use pedal cycles. They know that we effectively police individuals who use mopeds so they've opted to go onto pedal cycles now."

In the year to 9 February, the Met Police recorded 2,325 robberies where the suspect was riding a pushbike, up from 1,380 the previous year.

City of London Police recorded 58 moped-enabled robberies in 2019, compared with 169 using a bicycle.

The action this week will involve officers on foot, on pushbikes, and in marked and unmarked cars.

Police are urging members of the public to lock bikes securely, keep valuables out of sight and to be aware of their surroundings.

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