Bike thefts skyrocket in Welwyn Hatfield

PUBLISHED: 14:23 22 March 2017 | UPDATED: 15:24 22 March 2017

Bicycle thefts have risen in Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield

Bicycle thefts have risen in Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield

Archant

Bike thefts in Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield have soared 144 per cent in the last month, it has emerged.

The amount of bicycles snatched in Hatfield rose 400 per cent between February 10 and March 10, with 10 occurring in the town compared to two in the same period last year.

In WGC the incidents nearly doubled – 12 being reported this year compared to seven in 2016.

WGC resident Ian Angel, whose bike was snatched earlier this month, said: “It seems to me the bicycles locked outside The Howard Centre are ripe for the picking.

“I’ve always heard the rumours before about how prevalent bike theft is in the area.

“I’ve even chased lads off who were vandalising a bike locked outside the NatWest bank.”

The number of bikes reported stolen in Welwyn Hatfield overall has also skyrocketed – 113 between September 2016 and February 2017, compared to 85 in the same period the year before.

Avid cyclist Neil Surtees had his bike taken from outside Hatfield’s Tesco, despite being left securely chained.

He said: “I’m not surprised cycle theft has soared, more people are cycling now than ever before so it stands to reason that theft would be up.

“The police can only do what they can, in a perfect world this wouldn’t happen but it’s not perfect.”

Asked why the numbers had risen, and what police were doing to address it, Welwyn Hatfield Chief Inspector Adam Willmot said: “A rise in such crime could be down to a number of factors, but where incidents do occur officers look to use all opportunities to gain evidence and track offenders.

“We often see bikes which haven’t been secured properly being stolen, and this is an opportunity for me to appeal to the public to ensure they are using locks for their bikes.”

He advised cyclists to use D type locks, secure their bikes to immovable objects and to make sure they are marked for security.

More advice is available here.


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