Ipswich: Alarm after an 11 per cent rise in bike thefts in the town

IPSWICH: Police have today told of their determination to tackle bike theft after a significant rise in the crime over the last year.

This comes as a teenager boy spoke of his fears after a thug forced him off his BMX bike and stole it.

Between April 1 and September 2010 there were 337 bike thefts reported. In the same period this year thieves struck 377 times – an increase of 11 per cent.

Superintendent Martin Ransome, Ipswich policing commander, said officers are aiming to bring the problem under control.

The teenage victim of a bike theft, who asked not to be named, said he hoped the police would do everything they could to crackdown on the crime.

Earlier this year, he was sitting outside Sainsbury’s in Warren Heath when the offender approached him and forced his bike off him. Despite a shopper attempting to help the teen, the thug made off with the bike.

The 14-year-old, who lives in east Ipswich, said: “It was scary because it was in the middle of the day, but I know it is happening to a lot of people.

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“When a lady tried to stop him from taking the bike, he threatened her and then rode off.”

His friend, who also asked to remain anonymous, has had five bikes stolen in five years from various locations across the town.

He added: “I feel really nervous leaving my bike outside a shop for a couple of minutes and I feel like I have to be more on my guard when I go out on my bike.

“I don’t think I would go into the town centre on my own with my bike.”

The mother of one of the teens, said: “I think as a mother it is really scary because I see that the boys are nervous about having their bikes stolen and I think it has got to the point where I am really concerned for their safety.They are being stolen from all over the place and I think it is just time for people to come together and keep an eye out.”

Supt Ransome said: “There are people who aren’t locking up their bikes and we would obviously ask them to do so, but the majority of people are locking their property away.

“We have seen a rise in the amount of offenders using equipment such as bolt cutters to cut through locks.

“Our Safer Neighbour Teams are working to tackle this because there has been an increase in this type of crime.

“We are using various methods including use of our police pods and we are seeing results through charges and cautions for bike crime.”

n Have you been affected by bike theft? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk