London gets more bike police

Extra officers have joined the Metropolitan Police Service (Cycle Task Force to help improve cycle safety and to crackdown on road users who disobey the rules of the road.

10 more officers have joined the Cycle Task Force just three months since the team was introduced.

The MPS Cycle Task Force is part of the Safer Transport Commandand is funded by Transport for London.  It was introduced to tackle cycle theft and vandalism in the Capital.  From this month, the original team, which tackles cycle theft, is being joined by a new unit, which will focus on traffic enforcement and cycle safety in London.

Since its launch in June this year, the MPS Cycle Task Force team, which tackles the problem of stolen and vandalised bikes in London, has already cycle security marked nearly 5,000 bikes, made nearly 20 arrests for bike theft and reunited some  Londoners with their stolen bikes.

Ten extra specialist traffic police officers, who recently swapped their police cars for bikes, have now joined the MPS Cycle Task Force to help promote cycle safety and to crackdown on drivers – and cyclists – who break the rules of the road. The unit ran a six week long operation this summer to target road users who disobeyed traffic signals, encroached on advance stop lines, cycled carelessly or on pavements, or used their mobile phones on the two pilot Barclays Cycle Superhighways.

The operation resulted in:

More than 900 Fixed Penalty Notices  (FPN) of up to £60 issued to drivers and motorcyclists;

Over 400 FPNs of up to £60 issued to cyclists;

Around 300 people attended an Exchanging Places safety education course to encourage considerate and safe behaviour from all road users and to promote sharing the road safely;

106 cyclists who were given FPNs for less serious offences were given the option to have their ticket cancelled if they attended an Exchanging Places safety education course.  Fifty per cent of those offered the opportunity  attended and had their ticket revoked;

More than 20 arrests made for a variety of offences, including for bike theft and driving while disqualified to do so.

Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor of London’s Transport Advisor, said: “The Cycle Task Force is a fundamental part of the cycling revolution the Mayor has delivered in London and has proven to be hugely effective.  This task force, through both education and enforcement, has already helped thousands of London’s cyclists, by catching bike thieves, security marking bicycles and reuniting people with heir stolen bikes.  The real success of this team is that it is helping both cyclists and those Londoners who do not cycle by ensuring that there is better behaviour on our streets by all road users.

“However there is always more that can be done to make London the best cycling city in the world and these additional officers should reassure everyone who cycles in the Capital that making London safe and secure remains our focus.”

Commander Mark Gore, Safer Transport Command, said: “The Safer Transport Command welcomes these officers into the Cycle Task Force as we move a step closer to realising the Mayor’s vision of a cycling revolution. 

“While the vast majority of cyclists and motorists behave with care around London, a visible police presence helps all road users, including cyclists, to use the road responsibly.  The MPS Cycle Task Force will continue to organise targeted operations to tackle bike theft and vandalism, as well as encourage considerate, safe and lawful behaviour from all road users.”

Steve Burton, TfL’s Director of Community Safety, Enforcement and Policing, said:  “London is a fantastic city to get around on two wheels.  However people can sometimes be put off by other road users or the fear of getting their bike stolen, and we are determined to put a stop to this.

“The MPS Cycle Task Force has done a cracking job to tackle bike theft since it was launched and these additional officers will strengthen the excellent work done to date.”

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