CRA 2013 winner - Cycle Security Award

First Capital Connect

Sadly, cycle crime account for around 25% of reported crime on the railway network, with summer being ‘peak time’ as bicycle thieves take advantage of the increase in the number of cycles during this period.

First Capital Connect issued a clampdown on cycle theft from 12 June to 30 August of this year. Whilst the crime fighting initiative ‘Operation Velodrome’ in partnership with the British Transport Police ran, cycle crime at the seven identified cycle crime hotspots reduced by 58%. In comparison, in the six weeks prior to the initiative, cycle crime had increased 14% on 2012 figures.

First Capital Connect funded seven security guards as highly visible ‘Cycle Wardens’ to patrol the stations identified as having the most cycle crime, their presence designed to deter thieves. Wardens would further help to prevent cycle crime in a positive manner by giving out free high-quality bike locks. Nearly 300 locks were distributed in the period between the 15 June and 30 August.

Locks were also attached to high value bikes secured with low value locks and a police notice attached. The owner was given the lock as long as they registered their bike with Alongside the lock scheme cyclists were also able to take advantage of free security etching.

Areas identified in the stations were used to temporarily store any bikes found unsecured. A police notice was left for the owner to contact a Cycle Warden. Once ownership was established, the customer was given back their bike and given crime prevention material and advice – a wake up call for many!

British Transport Police officers worked alongside the Cycle Wardens in a highly effective partnership. As well as helping the Wardens in implementing the scheme, the Police tied the operation in with their own crime prevention strategy. PCSOs were deployed to surrounding stations and co-ordinated covert operations were carried out at nearby locations to counter criminal displacement.

The results were clearly very effective. In the last three weeks of August, cycle crime began to virtually dry up. Notably, only four offences were recorded between the seven “hot spot” locations during the whole of August. This trend was replicated across the whole FCC network.

As a result of this incredible success the project will be rolled out across the entire FCC network next year. This reinforced the company’s customer service policy and the importance the company places on keeping customers, and their property, safe and secure.

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