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Crackdown on motorbike thefts after hundreds stolen in Bromley and Bexley

PUBLISHED: 10:57 22 April 2015 | UPDATED: 10:58 22 April 2015

A motorbike

A motorbike

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London-wide operation takes place today

Police across London are joining forces today to crack down on thefts of mopeds, scooters and motorcycles.

Met Police and City of London Police officers will be checking parked mopeds, raiding homes where people are suspected of stealing bikes, and offering owners security advice and free locks.

Some 298 bikes were stolen in Bromley in the last 12 months – almost double the 2013 to 2014 total of 158.

The Bexley figure was slightly lower, at 260, but was more than double the 2013 to 2014 total of 115.

A police spokesman said: “As other vehicles have become more secure, there has been a significant rise in criminals turning to bikes to use in crime.

“If an average value of £3,000 is applied to each moped, scooter or motorcycle, then the total value of thefts across London is more than £28 million.”

Criminals may sell on the parts from stolen bikes or use them in robberies and burglaries.

“Intelligence suggests that organised crime groups are targeting new high-powered motorbikes which can cost up to £15,000, which are broken down into parts and resold,” the spokesman added.

“These are usually stolen by being lifted into the back of vans, having their chains cut, having their steering locks broken or sometimes even by using the propulsion of another scooter.

“Using the latter method, thieves do not need to start the engine and they will often go to dangerous lengths to keep the stolen bike moving, including driving through red lights and using pedestrian and cycle paths.” Lower-powered two-wheelers are usually stolen by hot-wiring.

A pilot operation saw thefts decrease by 58 per cent between July and December last year in Westminster, 51 per cent in Camden, and a third in Islington.

Officers are also attending workshops to learn how to better spot stolen bikes.

Police are advising riders to park in designated motorbike parking areas with a stand and security loop – or if this isn’t available, somewhere busy, well-lit and if possible covered by CCTV.

Use more than one Iock on your bike, and ideally use disc locks and chain locks and fit them through parts of the bike which are hard to remove.

If you leave your bike for a long period, lock it to something secure and use a motorbike cover. Consider using fitted anchors to secure your bike at home.

Fit an alarm and mark your bike parts with the vehicle identification number or your registration number using an ultraviolet pen or property marking kit.

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