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Cycle thefts in Tooley Street

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Monday 19 March 2018 2.40pm
Hi there, I am looking for recommendations on where is a relatively safe place to lock a bike near London Bridge. I had an expensive saddle nicked, along with a seatpost, from my bike locked up opposite London Bridge Station on Friday. Had to cycle home BMX style, muttering all sorts of profanities about our neighbourhood cycle thieves who seem to be particulalry prevalent in this area. I'm really reluctant to lock up at this spot again, even if I de-pimp my ride with a cheap saddle. The cable I ran through the saddle rails to attack to main lock was sliced through by the thieves. According to colleagues theives have have stolen whole bikes from the same location by using heavy specialist equipment to break heavy-duty 'gold standard' locks such as those manufactured by Krytponite. I'd advise cyclists not to lock up on Tooley St if they can avoid it. The racks in London Bridge probably aren't any more secure and there aren't the car parks with cycle storage that are found in the City of London across the river. If anyone has any ideas on best places to lock up, I'd be very gratetful to hear them! Cheers, J
Thursday 22 March 2018 10.47am
When I worked in the area, I used to park further down the road, outside Southwark Crown courts. At least there is some kind of surveillance (even if psychological) and also security guards at Hay's Galleria walk around the building. It's better than nothing.
My best advice is either get a folding bike you can take with you or get a dirt cheap bike (or one that is very recognisable with a custom paint) that they won't bother steal.
I can't believe nothing is ever being done about the thefts. There are cameras everywhere but I guess it's not worth police time. It's like those brazen thieves stealing mobiles whist riding scooters (it happens a lots on Tooley/Bermondsey Streets). For sure, they are the same thugs who know the goods places to mug people.
Thursday 22 March 2018 11.08am
Hi Connie, cheers for the advice. I guess folding bikes solve a lot of problems and are good for short distance not really enjoyable for many cyclists doing a 1hr+ ride. Ditto for a cheap bike. I feel a bit like 'Donkey Kong' pedaling those tiny bikes with their little wheels! The frustrating thing is that after reporting a theft I can't really engage with the local police station about which areas might be better to lock up or if there are stats on where most thefts in the borough happen. Anyway I'll have a look around including the lock-up areas you suggest.
Thursday 22 March 2018 2.32pm
Could you make your bike unappealing, like painting it a horrid colour...
What about a GPS tracking device, I know it does not deter thieves per se, but at least you can see if someone is moving it and you can try to locate and recover your bike (well not bike parts).
Sunday 25 March 2018 9.58am
eyeofthebeerholder wrote:
I had an expensive saddle nicked, along with a seatpost, from my bike locked up opposite London Bridge Station on Friday. Had to cycle home BMX style, muttering all sorts of profanities about our neighbourhood cycle thieves who seem to be particulalry prevalent in this area.

This appears to be a common occurrence...

Sunday 25 March 2018 11.25am
Yep my saddle was a Christmas present too. The thieving bastards don't care about such niceties of course, its all about getting a crumpled up 10 note from some shifty second hand dealer on Brick Lane for a saddle that cost 100.

Stolen saddles probably end up on Gumtree but unless there is a distinguishing mark on the saddle, which you probably aren't going to see from the photography anyway, how can you ever work it is indeed the item stolen?

A colleague who had a 1,000+ road bike nicked on Tooley Street (opposited the entrance to the Tube station) was shown CCTV by the cops of the bike being stolen in daylight hours.

CCTV is no deterent as they wear hoodies and the quality of CCTV footage is surprisingly poor despite huge improvements and falling costs of lens/camera equipment.

Even though thefts are on the rise the security/infrastructure/anti-terrorism priorities of the London Bridge area means that cycle thefts are going to be very low priority for the police who will point to stretched resources - but I still think there should be bit more a presence in the area when its gets dark to deter thieves who also seem to pinch mobile phones too. Its also frustrating that I can't engage with the local police station to get a profile of which areas in the SE1 area might be 'relatively' more secure to lock up a bike. But of course nowhere can be truly secure unless you lock the bike in your office, which is clearly not an option for most of us. I'm going to contact London Cycling Campaign to get some advice on how easy it is to get info on theft stats on different lock up points, but I doubt the Met collect or share this information anyway.

In the meantime, here's some advice on reducing the chances your saddle will be stolen - although in my experience using a dedicated lock for my saddle didn't work. Some cables just aren't strong enough to withstand a cutter. A heavier lock/cable is impractical given that I already have to carry a U lock and a thick cable to lock the front wheel.

Brooks saddles are nice products, but I've learnt the hard way that they are not practical for leaving on a bike in a high crime area.

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