CRA 2014 winner - Cycling Champion

Stewart McKenna – British Transport Police

Cycle Champion Stewart McKenna from the British Transport Police Waterloo Hub has been instrumental in coordinating efforts between National Rail, British Transport Police, South West Trains and two local charities to donate 160 abandoned cycles to a fitting local cause. His involvement began in cycle crime prevention, successfully putting together a business case for the purchase of Selectamark bike marking kits. Waterloo soon became the pilot scheme for free bike marking, which led to £10,000 of funding from the British Transport Police to roll out the initiative to other theft hotspots across the country, resulting in a marked decrease in cycle thefts. Stewart secured valuable time on Waterloo’s ISO screens to advertise these monthly cycle marking sessions and soon saw an opportunity regarding the reuse of unmarked cycles mounting up in storage.

Stewart had the idea to donate these unclaimed cycles to worthy causes but BTP policy forbids the giving away of property. Unfazed, he persisted, establishing that Network Rail could donate the bikes under the terms of its liability agreement. By proving his case was ethical and worthwhile and with all parties on side, Waterloo checked its unclaimed cycle stock against reports of missing property in the area (returning 10 to their owners) and selected local Clapham Park Project to receive the remaining 25 bicycles.

This local charity works with young people during the summer holidays, giving them life skills, promoting teamwork and providing a focus. When word started to spread about Stewart’s mission, other managers from South West Trains got in touch and soon he had accumulated more than sixty more bicycles to give away. Through a contact at the Co-op, a 7.5 ton lorry was enlisted to take the bicycles to new homes with underprivileged youths or families with disabled children (the project can adapt them). Since then, a further 100 bicycles have been donated, allocated and marked with their new owner’s details by Selectamark. The scheme has now been rolled out across the country and Stewart is preparing for a career change as a police constable. But he leaves behind a lasting legacy at Waterloo. His nomination sums it up: “Stewart always goes above and beyond of what is expected of him.”

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