Felixstowe - the bike-nicking town
FELIXSTOWE is the Bermuda triangle of bicycles according to the town's police commander.Bemused Insp Andy Bushell can not understand why more than six times the number of bikes are stolen from the seaside resort each year compared to Woodbridge.
FELIXSTOWE is the Bermuda triangle of bicycles according to the town's police commander.
Bemused Insp Andy Bushell can not understand why more than six times the number of bikes are stolen from the seaside resort each year compared to Woodbridge.
But the latest campaign to cut cycle crime has been having a positive effect with reported thefts almost halved.
"Why are there so many cycles stolen in Felixstowe? I don't know where they go," said Insp Bushell.
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He said that Felixstowe was the Bermuda triangle of pedal cycles where the two-wheelers seem to disappear without trace.
Last year 131 cycles went missing which according to Insp Bushell was a huge amount. This year the number has been reduced to 77 stolen bikes.
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According to the latest police figures 12 bicycles have been stolen from Woodbridge this year, eight from Hadleigh and 124 from Ipswich.
The police had launched a specific cycle campaign to tackle this large problem in Felixstowe and has since led to a number of arrests.
"We have had some success by being proactive in cycle crime," said Insp Bushell. One of the strategies is to stop children from cycling on pavements and making them more aware of looking after their bikes.
"The staff that I have are dealing with youngsters and talking to them," he added.
Pc Richard Durrant of Felixstowe police advised cyclists to buy a good quality lock and to secure the bike to a permanent fixture when the bike is left in the town when shopping.
He added that he was also baffled by Felixstowe's reputation for disappearing bikes. "I don't know why Felixstowe. It seems to be historic, we don't know why."
However he said the latest cycle crime figures were promising and that the police would continue to work to further reduce the number of bikes stolen each year in the town.
Factfile: Reducing Cycle Crime
Do not leave a bike in an isolated place and always lock the bike when leaving it, even if it is only for a few minutes.
Make sure bikes are secured to proper cycle stands or robust street furniture and lock cycles through the frame.
More than half of all bike thefts take place from the owner's property so garages and sheds should be well secured and avoid leaving a bike unattended outside the home, even for just a short time.
Get the bike marked - a number of companies provide a bike security marking and registration scheme where the bike is marked with a unique number and cross-referenced to details held on a computer database.
It is also advisable to keep a photograph of the bike and keep a record of all its details.
Source: National Cycling Strategy