Met Police crime data released this week revealed that Hackney has had the highest number of bicycle thefts over the last 12 months in London.
Hackney is followed by Tower Hamlets, another EastLondonLines borough. The boroughs showcasing the lowest theft rate are Harrow and Havering.
Campaigners say stealing a bike is relatively easy and getting caught and convicted is very unlikely. In September 2023, only 0.6% of recorded bicycle offences were resolved by police.
The Walking and Cycling Commissioner, Will Norman, told ELL: “The Mayor and I want more Londoners to choose sustainable ways of getting around the capital like walking and cycling, and everyone should be able to use their bike in London without fear of it being stolen.”
As a preventative measure for bicycle theft, the Walking and Cycling Commissioner said that more than 3000 cycle hangars were installed across London. Hackney has more than one-fifth of the hangars that are situated around the capital.
Currently, the price for one space in a hangar varies from £34 to £48 per year, plus a £28.50 key deposit.
Despite the large number of cycle hangars, demand is higher than supply, according to the Hackney council site: “We have much greater demand than we have spaces for, so we operate a waiting list system for potential new users.”
Bicycle theft was described by the London Cycling Campaign (a charity offering membership campaigning for safer cycling in London) as “low risk, high reward crime”.
On November 1, the Hackney branch of a London Cycling Campaign held a hustings event for the 2023 Hackney Mayoral election. Prior to the event, Hackney LCC had told ELL: “We can say that one of our mayoral asks is to provide secure and affordable parking in Hackney for all.”