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Cycle crime crackdown at railway stations across Hertfordshire sees figures halve
An operation to crackdown on cycle theft has seen incidents at stations across Hertfordshire including St Albans halved.
British Transport Police (BTP), with support from First Capital Connect (FCC), launched Operation Velodrome in June to catch thieves in the act and deter crime at bike racks at stations including St Albans City.
The other stations include Elstree and Borehamwood, Bedford, Luton, Hitchin, Royston and Huntingdon.
During the course of the operation, 18 people were arrested for a number of cycle-related offences at the stations due to a high police presence along with FCC-funded cycle wardens, who carried out patrols alongside BTP officers.
Chief Inspector Matt Allingham, who led the operation, said it would continue into the autumn months.
He said: "We are extremely pleased that the hard work of BTP and FCC has seen a considerable decrease in cycle offences at train stations.
"With the nationwide launch of Operation Wiggins this week, we will continue to carry out these high profile patrols and remind passengers of the importance of locking up their cycles securely.
"Bikes can range in prices, but some passengers don’t use enough security to leave their £1,000 bike at a station for long periods of time.
"We will continue to hold security marking surgeries at stations across the FCC line, and encourage any cyclists to come along and get their bike marked for free and registered on the national crime-fighting database."
The initiative has seen cycle crime half at FCC stations across north London, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire from 39 reported crimes in July to just 15 in August. Of the seven key stations targeted by BTP, only four reported offences took place throughout August.
Over 260 high quality locks were attached to those bikes that were chained up using easily breakable locks.
Officers engaged with businesses located close to each station, advising employees on how to correctly lock cycles up at stations and encourage them to attend cycle surgeries held by BTP officers.
Surgeries were also a chance for passengers to have their bike security marked and registered on the national crime-fighting database. More surgeries will be held over the next few months.
FCC security manager Tony Holland said: "This crackdown on crime goes hand in hand with our drive to encourage passengers to cycle to work in which we have doubled the number of bike rack spaces at our stations.
"We have invested £13,000 in high quality locks and bike registration kits for this operation and an even greater amount in additional security guards.
"By working together with our dedicated team of BTP officers we hope to have saved many of our passengers a great deal of anguish and we will continue to build on what has been achieved in Operation Velodrome."
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