Unwatched and therefore unprotected

Bike park after the crime
The scene of the crime the next morning – a sadly empty bike park

We all know about the severe lack of bike parking space around Reading Station, particularly on the south side.

So when a new bike parking space was created down from the taxi-rank and the south-side pickup area, it was obviously going to readily used.

However, on Friday 18 November I was shocked on arriving home from London to find not only my bike stolen, but it seemed to me all the other quality bikes too (with only three extremely old bikes remaining untouched).

iron barI had used a D-lock, as supposedly had the majority of the other bikes. But it seems that even this form of protection was useless against the exploits of a metal bar, and such an implement was found close to the scene the following day that could have done the deed.

Before issuing a crime number, the police asked if there was any CCTV in the area. I got GWR to confirm that there wasn’t. However, since the Council installed this bike park, surely it is their responsibility to provide surveillance cameras to protect our bikes and act as a suitable deterrent?

The cycle park is situated outside a building site, making it easy for a group of bike thieves posing as workers to pull up with a van and just help themselves.

Since this incident, I have been approached by another cyclist who also had had their bike stolen from this bike park, proving this is not a one-off occurrence. Since cycle-parking on the station’s south side is at a premium, it is a pity such a facility is unsuitable for use, being a prime target for bike thieves.

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