Bike theft rates have reached over one per day in Oxford causing concern among students and staff.
University Crime Reduction Officer, Norman Stewart, has drawn attention to the issue, commenting, “We are at present suffering an unprecedented level of cycle crime within the University. Whilst there are no particular hotspots, it is apparent that bicycles are being taken daily.”
“We are working hard to reduce cycle theft with Thames Valley Police and Oxford University Security Services (OUSS) by increasing surveillance and patrolling in the area of cycle racks.”
He added, “My message to students and staff is that we need your help too. Rather than just walking by if you see someone acting suspiciously, please contact OUSS immediately.” Stewart also revealed to Cherwell that there have been recent successes in arresting people with three being caught last week.
Balliol student Alex Body, whose bike was stolen last year, agreed that there is a need for people to act on suspicious behaviour, noting, “What I found surprising was that it was taken in the middle of the day from outside Balliol, and that no-one thought it odd for someone to either cut the lock or carry it off in broad daylight!”
James Ash, from St. Peter’s, who has also recently had his bike stolen, commented, “We cannot do anything about it as the police are so inundated with reports of thefts. It’s a hopeless scenario.”
A spokesperson for the University said, “While Oxford is actually a very safe city for students, with only 3% of all crime linked to the University, bike theft is obviously a big problem.”
Thames Valley Police noted that, “About 50% of people do not lock their bike correctly. The recommended minimum lock standard is a hardened steel D-shaped lock.
Corpus student Hattie Soper, who attempted to break her own bike lock after losing her key, said, “I can confirm that D-locks are very hard to break. I would be aggrieved, yet impressed, if anyone was able to smash that D-lock and take my bike.”