Last month, having read alot of threads on LB regarding bike theft, I sent a Freedom of Info request to both City of London Police and the Met. I wanted to know how many bike thefts there had been, how many cases involved CCTV or witnesses and the conviction rate. It wasn’t meant as a ‘police-bashing’ excercise, it was intended to show the difference, if any, that CCTV makes.City of London Police have replied and it’s pretty grim. They couldn’t give me any idea of how many cases involved CCTV or witnesses as this would have meant looking into each case, which was alot of work (fair enough).
In the last financial year, there were 48 reported cases, all of which were investigated in some way. Of these, there was one caution and no convictions.
According to wikipedia, there are 813 police officers, 85 Special Constables and 48 PCSOs covering the one square mile area (surely they cover more than one square mile?) under City of London Police.
I’m shocked to see the conviction rate, I expected it to be alot higher than this considering the amount of CCTV in the area. Let’s hope the Met can give some better news :unsure:
Don’t the City of London Police really focus on corporate fraud/laundering - rather than beat bobbying? They are a police force to the City - rather than your run of the mill officer … no?
I’m not saying that makes it okay or anything … I’m just saying … yes there might be a lot of them … and yes they might not cover a large area of land … but their priorities lie elsewhere moreso than other police forces?
I think it was last week I was reading somewhere that, somewhere in the regions of 1-2% of bike thefts are actually followed through, basically the other 98% is deemed not worth it and the likely hood of actually catching the feckers is highly unlikely
If you’re wanting to know about CCTV coverage… The city of London has pretty much the whole place covered, and monitored 24hrs a day.
The caution for bike theft is more than likely someone stopped using their dads bike or something. And rather than get the dad in trouble for ‘permitting’ his son to use an uninsured bike the kid takes the blame (only a scenario, not suggesting it took place).
City Pol do police the square mile, and 800 officers are split into their various units and undertake their own responsibilities. Firearms, OSU (public order), traffic (yes they have one), CID (Big part of their work load) as well as front line uniformed PC’s.
The clear up rates for motor vehicle theft is generally low, and is not a priority crime.
Question though, if someone stole your bike, ragged it and crashed it… would you want it back? Or would you prefer the insurance pay out?
When my scooter was knicked a couple of years ago, my neighbour had seen the likely thiefs as he’d chased a couple away who were trying to cut the chain to his bike, they also left a load of stuff where my scoot was. He rang the police straight away, but needless to say they never turned up.
When I called to report the theft I asked if they wanted to come around to take prints and a description from my neighbour. The answer literally was “it’s not worth it” (they were the words).
That says enough about how serious they take bike theft.
Two brothers exhaust stolen off my fireblade some years ago lots of perfect greasy fingerprints all over bike…waited four days for the police to come. Eventually gave up waiting and started using bike again.
last year my fireblade was stolen from sun street next to broadgate, also ZX6R stolen from same bay three days later then a GSXR stolen a week later all under three cameras.
I had to request the CCTV footgae as the police didnt bother, showed a white van pull up three guys get out put something under the front wheel like a skateboard (to defeat disc lock) push and carry with alarm wailing to van and then drive off. This is at 12:15pm with about 40-60 people walking past in the time this was done. A few of us got together and put a long chain around lampost so several bikes could chain to it. this was removed by council a few weeks later…great.
it speaks volumes that they have already replies and the MPS have not…
if you were to make a call to City Police and ask them to attend somewhere because you thought someone was tampering with a bike I guarantee that 99% of the time they would be there within minutes…
as you rightly point out these only cover a square mile and the criminal gangs who are taking bikes operate throughout the City, West End etc.
48 crimes in a year equates to 4 thefts per month, yet there is I’d estimate street parking for over 1200 bikes, plus free Car Park parking for maybe another 500… probably 80% of the bikes that occupy those spaces move everyday so taking in to account working days in a month you’re looking at probably 34,000 movements… so 4 thefts doesn’t sound too bad…
the Caution was probably for a first time offender who was caught on the bike, so it’s likely it was recovered… the lack of convictions for the other 47 bikes only really means something if you know how many were also recovered… it’s unlikely that you will be able to convict someone for the theft of a bike unless you catch them with it and as we all know it’s all too common for bikes to be broken up in to spares.
There are no Bike specific crime figures as they would get lumped in to Vehicle Crime and that probably includes theft from as well as theft of… but it’s the only comparison available…
West End - 2008 - 65.3 (ave Aug thru Oct)
West End - 2009 - 41 (ave Aug thru Oct) Down 37.2%
City - 2008 - 19.3 (ave Aug thru Oct)
City - 2009 - 16.7 (ave Aug thru Oct) Down 13.8%
Which isn’t bad given that the City Area is larger than the West End beat of the MPS.
Last but not least, they did investigate each of those thefts in some way… where as elsewhere in the country such crimes would most probably have been ‘screened out’…
I cant speak for the others but for the three bikes from sun street no attempt was made by police to recover camera footage. I know this for sure as we all work together and it was our companies Cameras.
The Met did send me a preliminary reply asking for clarification of some questions in which they also stated that all reported thefts are investigated. Judging from what I’ve read on forums, and from speaking to the (very small) number of people I know who’ve had bikes stolen, they feel that the police have failed to investigate. I suppose it comes down to what the police class as ‘investigation’, the public would assume it to mean actively seeking out those responsible for the theft, maybe that’s not the case.
To be fair, I wouldn’t expect the police to follow up a report unless there was CCTV or witnesses, as the chance of catching the thieves would be very slim. But considering the amount of CCTV in the City, I did expect convictions to be much higher.
There is a recent stolen bike thread on LB where a policeman actually spoke to the thieves as they were loading the bike into the back of the van. The fact that they continued with the theft knowing a police officer had seen their faces speaks volumes, they clearly don’t expect to be caught. They must be very confident that the police will not put to much effort into investigating the crime, let’s hope they’re wrong in this case.
Same here when my bike was damaged recently while parked. The police did phone me to take details (is this what they class as ‘investigated’?) but told me I would have to look into whether there was any CCTV myself.