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Bike theft at Honor Oak Park station
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Posts: 31
Joined: Sep 2011
Post: #1
06-09-2014 03:57 PM

One of our bikes has had its wheel and saddle stolen from the racks outside honor oak park station last night. I have previously contacted the local councillors as this has happened before and was hoping secure bike storage many be fitted. We have no place to store our bikes except for on the street. There are few other sorry looking bikes on the racks. Just wondering if anyone has had a similar experience or have any thoughts on what we can do.


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Posts: 71
Joined: Nov 2009
Post: #2
07-09-2014 01:34 PM

Lock your bike so that the front wheel is locked to the frame (remove the wheel if necessary) and either remove the saddle, lock it up too or swap the quick release bolt for one that requires a spanner.

I usually remove the pump, any lights etc... too.

Not sure what secure storage entails. I ride a motorbike too and we get nothing. Usually there's not even anything to lock it too, but any ground anchor will often be occupied with a chain someone else can't be bothered to carry home with them every day and any sheffield stands will be occupied by bicycles locked to them.

So it's often a case of whacking a disc lock on and hoping for the best. Every time I come back to my motorbike in London I'm expecting to see an empty space.

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Posts: 85
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #3
09-09-2014 09:02 AM

Have a look at this video showing how to lock your bike (and how not to):

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Posts: 32
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #4
10-09-2014 12:40 PM

Quite a few stations (including Forest Hill) now have on-platform bike parking. It's a bit more secure because it's behind the ticket barriers. It might be worth asking London Overground whether they'll install some at HOP when the lifts are fully operational. I don't know when the next Transport Liaison meeting is, but perhaps FHSoc could ask it there?

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Posts: 135
Joined: Jan 2011
Post: #5
11-09-2014 01:22 PM

I am afraid that this is typical of the low level crime that seems to be tolerated as a matter of course in our society.

How difficult would it be to set up a sting operation to catch those responsible? Not difficult at all. Is it going to happen? No.

Perhaps our local councillors could get on the case.

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Posts: 3,238
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #6
11-09-2014 02:45 PM

How difficult would it be to set up a sting operation to catch those responsible? Not difficult at all.

So do it.

The advice from the police is to make sure your bike is marked and registered. This makes it much harder to resell stolen bikes.
Next local sessions:

What: Cycle Marking or Registration
When: 20/09/2014 - 10:00 - 13:00
Where: Brockley Farmers Market

What: Cycle Marking or Registration
When: 01/10/2014 - 15:00 - 18:00
Where: Halfords Catford Hill Se6

More advice from the police at

I think the Forest Hill station no longer has cycle parking on the platform. But parking a bike on a railway platform does not guarantee it will be there when you return (as I found out in Edinburgh 20 years ago).

Incidentally if your bike is stolen then it is worth checking the standard re-sale websites. If you spot something that is probably your bike, it may well be worth seeing if the police would like to follow up on this (which I would suggest would be a reasonable use of their time in a sting operation - at the least they might be able to get somebody for 'handling stolen goods').

Whatever you choose to do, if your bike is stolen please report it to the police. This way they will know if a problem is developing.
Call 101 to report any crimes to the local police.

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No Longer Registered

Posts: 135
Joined: Jan 2011
Post: #7
12-09-2014 08:43 AM

Michael, I take your point about self-help but I do have a day job and we all know how uppity the Police get when a member of the public has a go. They may not be doing their job but don't you dare cross the picket line.

As I travel to work I regularly see the Police (in a group of 6 - 10) doing a systematic stop of motorists on Tower Bridge Road. Perhaps once in a while they could target bicycle theft. All they would need to do is train an existing CCTV camera at the station on a bike and wait for a call from the control room in a nearby van. They might also get a bonus arrest of a mugger. Simples.

Luckily my bike has never been stolen in the 20 odd years I have lived in the area but that is probably because I have always been able to adhere to the golden rule of never leaving it in a public space overnight.

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Posts: 3,238
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #8
12-09-2014 09:37 AM

The difficulty is setting the priorities for the police. A sting operation involving a lightly secured top of the range bike could, I suspect, take days to get a result - that's days of police time (at least two officers sitting in a van eating doughnuts). CCTV would find it very difficult to identify an individual in the act of stealing a bike (as opposed to lawfully removing the bike next to it) before they have a chance to cycle off in any direction.

I suspect the stopping of motorists on Tower Bridge is either related to crimes that are more regular (i.e. road tax evasion, which the police can spot from number plates and a central database), or for the prevention of terrorism - which is a higher priority in London at the moment than bike theft.

The main method the police use to reduce bike theft is the marking scheme, which they believe does have positive results in reducing crime stats.

If there were a serious spate of bike thefts in a particular area then I would expect the police to be doing more, and their predictive policing models would probably make that happen before I demand such action. When there are a spate of problems (like street drinking and aggressive begging) I do bring this to the attention of the police (via the Safer Neighbourhood Ward Panel) and ask the police to see if they can address the problem.

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Posts: 31
Joined: Sep 2011
Post: #9
20-09-2014 02:51 PM

Cheers for all the advice.

Bike was security marked but they seem to go for handle bars, saddles and wheels in hop. Think two decent locks and removing saddle is way forward for now. I had leafleted for a cyclehoop but our area hasn't been chosen yet. People can vote on getting more cycle storage here

Will now pursue councillors!

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