Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (508)

John Lyons


508. Deputy John Lyons asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a report was received from Garda authorities on the problem of bicycle theft in Dublin and an initiative undertaken recently in the UK; and if such an operation will be given further consideration by An Garda Síochána. [5116/14]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

In my reply to the Deputy's question no. 155 of 17 October 2013 I set out details of initiatives being taken by An Garda Síochána in Dublin in relation to the theft of bicycles. I have received a further report from the Garda authorities on this matter and the Garda approach and that being adopted under the UK initiative referred to by the Deputy include many common features. These include high visibility patrols, surveillance, intelligence led operations and bicycle registration initiatives.

The Garda approach includes identifying areas of high volume theft of bicycles so that a targeted operational approach is taken to prevent and detect such crimes. Gardaí in the Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR) engage in high visibility patrols and conduct surveillance in identified hotspots. Mountain Bike patrols are utilised in the vicinity of schools and other vulnerable areas. I am advised that one such targeted operation, Operation Spoke, has led to the arrest of seven suspects and the recovery of over forty bicycles. Gardaí are also involved in initiatives to divert individuals involved in this type of crime including an initiative between Gardaí at the Bridewell Garda Station and the M.O.S.T project, a Youth Diversion Programme aimed at individuals who had come to the attention of Gardaí for their involvement in bicycle theft. This project is set to continue through 2014 and will now be run as a joint project between Gardaí, the M.O.S.T project and a local bicycle retailer.

An Garda Síochána also provide crime prevention advice to members of the public and focused presentations are made to Neighbourhood Watch Schemes, policing fora, primary and secondary schools and local office complexes, and consultation also takes place with apartment management companies. Further analysis is being conducted in relation to areas particularly affected by bicycle theft to help enhance crime prevention measures and the tracking of stolen bicycles.

Specially designed information leaflets with crime prevention information have been distributed through bicycle advisory checkpoints and the use of a bicycle sticker campaign in areas where bicycles are locked. In addition, An Garda Síochána are engaging with bicycle retailers to encourage and promote Bicycle Registration Schemes.