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Bike theft in the West End and what you can do to prevent it

West End police inspector Paul Daley writes about bike thefts and how the public can help tackle the issue.

If you follow our Twitter page you will have noticed over the last few weeks we have managed to trace and charge seven people in relation to theft of bikes from the Hyndland and Yorkhill areas and submit reports to the Children’s Reporter, writes Inspector Paul Daley.

The culprits are brazen, come prepared, and think nothing of entering your common close, cutting a chain and walking out with your bike. 

Usually by the time the bike owner realises, the thieves are long gone leaving little or no lines of enquiry for the police to pursue. 

Fortunately, in terms of the recent incidents, the community really came together and provided us with statements, great descriptions and CCTV and this helped us to quickly identify them. 

This group and others have been stealing in large scale across the city, but the West End has been hardest hit.

And if you stay in Hyndland (Airlie/ Novar) or Hillhead then you have been particularly hard hit.

Whilst we do what we can to catch thieves the most effective approach is to prevent it happening in the first place. 

I am therefore appealing to all West Enders to start thinking ‘prevention’ and do what we can individually and as a community to deter people from coming into the area and effectively pedal away with your bike.

Our analysts tell us that bikes are more likely to be stolen from common closes, public bike racks and from outside shops. 

A recovered bike at Partick Police Office and a stairwell railing that was cut by thieves to release a bicycle
A recovered bike at Partick Police Office and a stairwell railing that was cut by thieves to release a bicycle

Thieves do this either by simply riding off on an insecure bike or by cutting through a substandard chain lock.

These people are normally active between 12 noon and 8pm, and although the thefts happen every day of the week, Wednesday seems to be popular!

So what can you do to prevent it happening?

  • Common Close security – Ensure the communal door is locked and question people when they “buzz”. If in doubt, don’t permit access and if you do, listen out. If something’s not right call us and only challenge if you can keep yourself safe.
  • Rather than secure your bike to a stair rail, can you keep it in your flat? Or if your neighbours are all bike owners is it worthwhile speaking to the factor to see if they will support you in getting a proper bike locker fitted in the rear yard?

  • Be vigilant! Lookout for people coming into your neighbourhood who don’t fit the profile of the area. What are they doing - Are they trying close doors? If so take a note of what they look like, what they are wearing and give us a call; the sooner the better.
  • It seems obvious, but ALWAYS lock your bike! Use an approved “D” lock perhaps using more than one and if you can keep an eye on your bike whilst in a shop/café.

We recover a large amount of bikes either by finding them abandoned or by people handing them in to the police station. We would really like to reunite you with your bike so please get it marked and registered with bikeregister.com. 

We had a very successful socially distanced bike marking event at Kelvingrove Park in October 2020, where we marked 300 bikes and could easily have done 300 more, so as soon as lockdown restrictions ease we will put more events in place locally and announce the dates on our social media channels.

As a local community policing team we are committed to reducing this type of crime and we want to work with you to do it. 

Inspector Paul Daley
Inspector Paul Daley
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