This article was published in 1999, in Newsletter 24.
Cambridge City Council and the four district councils have now published their Crime and Disorder Reduction Strategies (see Newsletter 23). As we expected, cycle crime (mainly cycle theft) was included in the Cambridge City strategy, but driver behaviour was not. The chosen overriding objective for cycle crime is ‘To work with owners and suppliers of cycles to reduce the level of cycle crime in Cambridge City.’
There are two short-term objectives:
- To establish a working group which will set up and monitor projects to address areas where cycle crime is concentrated;
- To reduce cycle crime across the City by 5%-10% by April 2002.
And four longer-term ones:
- To reduce the instances of theft of cycles and reduce the fear of cycle crime;
- To encourage greater social awareness of the responsibilities of cycle owners and users to enhance road and pedestrian safety;
- To divert young offenders away from cycle crime;
- To improve the security of cycle parking areas within the City.
I did wonder whether the target of 5%-10% was a little unambitious, given that we know that numbers of cycles stolen have dropped in recent years anyway. But the Strategy places much emphasis on the need for further research before proceeding, and I think this is wise. It’s entirely possible that the recent drop in cycle thefts could be due, for example, to a drop in cycle usage. More information is indeed needed.
The Strategy lists ideas for several projects which look quite promising, although there isn’t much said about actually catching cycle thieves.
Working groups for each priority area will be set up during the next six months. I understand that Cambridgeshire Constabulary will be taking the lead on the Cycle Crime working group, which certainly seems logical. We very much hope to be closely involved in this. It’s an exciting opportunity to make a real difference for cyclists in the city. Please do tell us of any suggestions you may have for reducing cycle theft, so that we can sure that as many ideas as possible are considered.