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Dublin: 16 °C Monday 10 August, 2020
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More than 18,000 bikes were stolen over three years - but just 11% were retrieved

There are calls for the gardaí to do more to tackle bike theft.

Image: Shutterstock

LESS THAN 11% OF bicycles stolen across the country in 2018, 2017, and 2016 were retrieved, according to new figures.

The stats also detail that despite there being almost 5,500 incidents of the unauthorised taking of a bike in 2018, only 272 resulted in court proceedings, down on the previous two years.

The figures were released in an answer to a parliamentary question from co-leader of the Social Democrats Róisín Shortall, who said the low retrieval rate shows “a serious disconnect between what is happening on our streets and how bike theft is being monitored and dealt with”.

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Shortall is calling on Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan and the Garda Commissioner Drew Harris to publish a new strategy for tackling bike theft:

A 10% retrieval rate for stolen bicycles is simply not good enough and we need a strategy for clamping down on high levels of bike theft particularly in urban areas. There have been some reports that higher-end stolen bicycles are being exported by criminal gangs, and if that is the case then we urgently need a strategy to stop this criminal activity.
The Minister for Justice and Equality and the Garda Commissioner need to provide answers about how they plan to tackle bike theft, as well as whether they will establish an investigation into the end destination of such a high number of stolen bicycles.

Shortall stressed that responsibility will still fall on cyclists to ensure their bikes are secured with strong locks.

Dublin City Council is currently rolling out a new initiative with aims to give cyclists living in the city a secure place to leave their bikes overnight.

Aimed at those living in apartments or shared accommodation with limited space, Bike Bunkers will be on-street, shared bicycle hangers where bikes can be stored securely, as well as being protected from the elements.

Dublin City Council is accepting submissions on locations for these.

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The Department of Justice has highlighted a number of garda operations which are aimed at combating bike theft.

“The ‘Bicycle Security Day’ initiative sees Garda Community Policing Units hosting open days at various locations in their local districts to engage with cyclists and provide crime prevention advice and property marking using an engraver.

“Crime prevention advice includes information on appropriate locks to use and where to park a bicycle which are factors that can have a significant preventative measure.”

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Nicky Ryan

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