"The more visible the security, the less visible your scooter is to thieves: adding extra security makes it harder for them to steal." This is the message of the Met’s new short, hard-hitting film and advertising campaign, urging riders of scooters, motorcycles and mopeds to use more security to avoid the theft of their vehicles.
Commissioner Cressida Dick is launching the campaign this morning, Friday, 23 June, at a popular parking bay in St James’s Square in Westminster – a key borough affected by the theft of scooters. Officers will be speaking to commuters about properly securing their scooters, motorcycles and mopeds.
The campaign encourages riders to layer up their security to reduce their vulnerability to thieves, focussing primarily on scooter riders, who are less likely to use strong security products. In many cases, owners have inadequate security or no security at all on their scooters, making it easy for thieves to steal them and then use them to commit snatch and robbery offences.
Security measures alone cannot guarantee a scooter will not be stolen, but every step taken makes it less attractive to a thief. The film shows not only how easy it is for thieves to steal vehicles that have not been adequately secured, but that thieves are less likely to target bikes with two locks, put off by the time involved in stealing them.
This campaign supports Operation Venice, the Met’sresponse to scooter, motorcycle and moped related crime, which has seen a rise in offences across London. Figures show that over 15,000 scooters, motorcycles and mopeds were stolen in London in the last year - more than half of all stolen vehicles in the capital - and scooters were used in the commission of over 14,000 crimes (rolling 12 months June 16 – May 17).
The perpetrators are often repeat offenders and in some cases also use stolen scooters to transport weapons and drugs to be used in further crimes.
As well as similar parking bay events, which will be held across London, the campaign will also see adverts on buses travelling through some of the top scooter theft hotspots in London – Westminster, Wandsworth, Tower Hamlets, Lambeth, Southwark, Haringey and Hammersmith and Fulham.
There will also be leaflets, a social media campaign and vinyl stencils printed onto dedicated parking bays in hotspot boroughs, reminding riders to use more security.
Op Venice is also working with industry partners and dealerships to introduce security awareness at the point of purchase of a scooter. Compulsory Basic Training providers, who run scooter training courses, will help promote security messages during training sessions. Industry, councils, partners, insurers and manufacturers will increase security awareness and work towards longer term solutions to make scooters harder to steal.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick said:
“We are hugely grateful for all the support we have received over the last weeks and months following the awful events here in London and the overwhelming desire of our public to help us. I would say to all of you – one of the best things that Londoners can do to support us is to follow our advice in taking care of your property and help us stop crime before it happens.
“This campaign is about encouraging scooter owners to do everything they can to adequately secure their vehicle against its theft and its subsequent use to commit thefts and violent robberies against the public.
“Police are working hard to make the streets hostile territory for reckless criminals who endanger lives, but it is the easy availability of scooters that is driving the rise in scooter enabled crime. So, I urge all riders: properly secure your scooter to reduce its risk of theft. If everyone plays their part, we can thwart these thieves.”
Steve Kenward, CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) said: “The MCIA is pleased to support this campaign to help riders make their bikes more secure. All riders must play their part in tackling motorcycle and scooter theft by taking sensible security measures when parking – using two or more high quality locks will help to deter opportunistic thieves. Our message is simple – protect your bike by layering your security!”
The campaign will be fully evaluated to improve our crime prevention messaging and campaigns going forward.
To find out more about this campaign and how you can protect yourself please visit: www.met.police.uk/besafe
Advice: Whilst we are continually tackling this crime there is much the owners of mopeds and motorcycles can do themselves and the Met advises the following steps:
- Parking: Choose designated parking with a stand and security loop, or if this is not available try areas with lots of people, good lighting and CCTV.
- Locks: Use more than one lock, focusing on disc locks and chain locks, fitted tight to the bike and through difficult-to-remove parts.
- Time: When leaving your bike for a long period or overnight, lock it to something secure and use a motorbike cover. At home consider using fitted anchors to secure your bike.
- Attention: Use audible alarms where possible to draw unwanted attention to the thieves.
- Marking: Choose to mark your bike parts with the vehicle identification number (VIN) number, your postcode or registration number using an ultraviolet marker pen or property marking kit.
- Insurance: Some companies will offer discounts on your insurance if you invest in certain security measures, so ask before you make your purchase.