Blue Bike strives to put brakes on thieves

By Mary Dennehy

GARDAI visited the IT Tallaght campus recently to push a new campaign that strives to put the brakes on bike thefts.

The initiative, which is called Blue Bike, involves an old, end-of-life bike, which painted blue, being left at the bike park on the college campus in an attempt to remind people to lock their bikes securely – and to warn thieves that the area is monitored by CCTV.

Blue Bike 01

Gardai visited the IT Tallaght campus

Speaking with The Echo, Mark Redmond, Tallaght Garda Station’s Crime Prevention Officer, said: “The bike is a distinct blue and we hope that it acts as a reminder for students and teachers to secure their bike properly.

“People need to check that they have locked their bike securely every time, and it is advised that a good lock costs 10 per cent of the value of the bike.

“We all love a bargain but I wouldn’t advise people to buy a cheap lock.

“Also never leave your lock lying on the ground as a thief can easily break the lock off the ground with a smack of a hammer.”

Report the theft

The Blue Bike also contains information on how to report the theft of a bike, and lets thieves know that the area is CCTV monitored by both the college and the gardai.

“Criminals will target anywhere that has a bike park and sometimes CCTV will not be a deterrent,” Sergeant Redmond said.

“That’s why it is so important for cyclists to make sure that their bikes are securely locked.

“There is good CCTV in-and-around the college but it doesn’t mean criminals won’t target the area.”

While the figures for stolen bikes in Tallaght dropped from 144 reported instances in 2016 to 94 in 2017 (35 per cent decrease), the detection rate with this type of crime is relatively low at only 5 per cent, according to recent Joint Policing Committee stats.

Sgt Redmond added: “We are also asking students, and people in the wider community, to take a note of their bike’s serial number.

“A lot of people who report a bike missing don’t have the serial number.

“As part of the awareness campaign at IT Tallaght, we have provided the Student Union with some cards that serial numbers can be noted on.

“However, people can simply take a picture of the serial number on their phone and save it.”

The Student Union is supporting local gardai with the campaign.

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