Gardai already analyse crime data to determine areas of high volume bicycle theft and target the main offenders, the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald has said, after she was asked to set up a dedicated task force on bicycle theft crimes.
Last year we reported how Gardai tackling bicycle theft, as part of “Operation Spoke”, arrested 33 people and secured over 20 convictions.
Minister Fitzgerald was responding to a parliamentary question from Limerick TD and Fianna Fail justice spokesman Niall Collins requesting a task force be set up to tackle bicycle theft. He wrote: “To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the actions she will take to address the theft of bicycles in urban areas; if she will establish a specific task force to address this matter; and if she will make a statement on the matter.”
Minister Fitzgerald said that: “As with any question of detailed Garda deployment and resource management, it is a matter for the Garda Commissioner to evaluate and consider the benefits of relevant policing and crime prevention strategies. I have, however, brought the Deputy’s proposal to the attention of the Garda authorities.”
She said that Garda Síochána is proactive in encouraging the public to protect their property, including bicycles, and “a range of measures” are in place to prevent and tackle the theft of bicycles.
She added: “In this regard I am informed by the Garda authorities that a range of operational measures are pursued to combat bicycle theft and to target those who engage in it, and there is ongoing provision by An Garda Síochána of crime prevention information, and awareness raising among the general public and bicycle retailers in relation to bicycle theft.”
“I am further advised by the Garda authorities that analysis is conducted to determine areas of high volume theft and to identify the main offenders for these crimes so that a targeted operational approach is taken to prevention and detection,” the minister said.
Minister Fitzgerald said: “The range of measures being pursued by An Garda Síochána include working with bicycle retailers and communities to encourage and promote bicycle registration. Gardaí also provide presentations to Neighbourhood Watch schemes, policing forums, schools, places of employment, and consult with apartment and building management companies on bicycle security and safety generally.”