‘Bait Bikes’ to Reduce Bike Theft in Dublin
A new initiative by the Gardaí will see the introduction of ‘bait bikes’ to the streets of Dublin. Bikes fitted with tracker devices will be placed throughout the city in an effort to combat bicycle theft. If one of the these fitted bikes gets stolen it can easily be traced by the Gardaí, the person in possession of the bike can then be identified and subsequently arrested.
This new push to deal with bike theft in the capital was announced by Insp Liam Geraghty of Pearse Street Garda station yesterday as part of the Bike Security Campaign . The announcement comes as bike theft in the city has reached an all-time high. Since the ‘bike to work’ scheme was introduced in 2009 there has been a rise in bike theft of 167%; a figure that suggests the problem is reaching epidemic proportions.
Insp Geraghty said that 100 people have been arrested in connection with bike theft between June and September of this year. However, the new plan will not only be about making arrests. ‘It’s more to develop intelligence as to where stolen bikes go,’ said the inspector. The initiative will also act as a deterrent to potential bike thieves as they will be at risk of carrying a tracker fitted bike.
Insp Geraghty also discussed the range of potential penalties for people who are found guilty of bike theft: ‘I know of a recent case where one individual got six months’ imprisonment for bike theft, on top of further sentences for other offences.’ According to the inspector, the people arrested tend to age from 14 to 47.
The areas worst affected by bike theft are all in the city centre; with College Green, Dame Street, Parnell Street and roads connecting to St. Stephen’s Green named as the to-p areas for theft.
Lord Mayor Críona Ní Dhálaigh said that one of the biggest messages of the campaign is to inform people of the proper measure to be taken in order to ensure the safety of their bicycle. “Alerting cyclists to the need to use higher quality locks is important. We need to make it harder for bikes to be stolen,” she said. A 2014 survey found that 66% of thefts were from bikes that used sub-standard locks. Typically these locks were cable locks.
The ‘bait bike’ measure will come into effect by the end of the month. And it is hoped that it will significantly dampen the number of bike thefts throughout the city by the end of the year.