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New figures reveal two bike-jackings a day now taking place in London

Recent incidents target riders in and around Regent’s Park in the early morning

New figures reveal that two bike-jackings a day are taking place in London, with muggers, often on mopeds and threatening victims with bladed weapons, targeting cyclists riding specific makes and models of bikes – and with riders heading to and from Regent’s Park in the early mornings increasingly being subjected to such attacks.

It’s a growing problem that we have previously reported upon here on, and police are being urged to do more to protect riders and bring the muggers to justice, reports

The perpetrators, working as part of organised gangs, are reported to be equipped with “shopping lists” of popular brands and model of bike, including Brompton folding bicycles which are known to retain a high resale value.

They are also reported to target premium road bikes and e-bikes, with the stolen bikes then shipped abroad.

According to the newspaper, a Freedom of Information request found that in the year to November 2023, in London there were 768 robberies of bicycles reported equating to two incidents a day.

The crime is distinct from burglaries in which a bike is taken from someone’s home, or thefts of parked bikes where the owner may not be present, which account for thousands more reported crimes a year.

Those figures almost certainly understated either because in the former case, the loss of a bike may not be specifically recorded if other possessions are taken, or because the victim, especially where uninsured, may not notify police of the theft.

The Telegraph says that increasingly, cyclists in London are being targeted by robbers in the early mornings, with Simon Epstein, chair of Regent’s Park Cyclists, telling the newspaper that in recent weeks the situation has escalated, leaving many people afraid to cycle in the Royal Park, which is a popular venue for training rides.

“These attacks are now happening every couple of days,” he said. “They are having a huge effect on the cycling community: people are terrified to ride their bikes, anxious every time they hear someone behind them.

“We are concerned that the police are underestimating the impact of these crimes. Victims report a disinterested, non-urgent police response – as if the crimes were ordinary bike thefts rather than violent, traumatic, armed robberies.

“People are being kicked to the street and threatened with weapons, every week, on London roads.

“What is especially frustrating is that the offences we have seen show clear similarities: time of day, location, type of bike,” he continued.

“If our group can spot patterns then surely so can the Met. They should be going through the 750+ crime reports from the last 12 months, looking for hotspots and trends.

“Resources need to be deployed proactively to catch those responsible,” Mr Epstein urged, adding, “It is only a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt or worse.”

The article highlighted the experience of several people who have each been subjected to violent robberies for their bicycles in recent months, each of whom expressed their frustration with the police response to what had happened to them.

> London bike-jackings on the rise, with lone riders vulnerable

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Service told the Telegraph: “There are over 1.2 million bike journeys a year in London, the majority happen without incident. But we’re doing all that we can to prevent robberies and thefts targeted at cyclists as we understand it is a growing concern for some Londoners.

“Through our new Cycle Crime Reduction partnership we are working to make it harder to sell on stolen bikes through the second-hand market. We also have more officers in hotspot locations, where our intelligence tells us victims may be more at risk.

“We are also holding daily pop-up events across London that work to educate and advise cyclists on how to store their bikes safely, as well as encouraging them to register their bike with the Met for free so we can track them if they are stolen.”

While recent attacks appear to have been concentrated in an around Regent’s Park, in the past other areas of the capital, including Richmond Park and Bermondsey, have seen a spate of such bike-jackings over a short period, with the number of incidents then decreasing after police have stepped up patrols at the location in question.

Other similar incidents have taken place elsewhere, such as the one linked below in Worcestershire in October.

> Shocking footage shows masked men attempting to steal cyclist’s bike after forcing him off the road with SUV

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Bigtwin | 4 months ago
1 like

Tip of the iceberg.  Two of my teenage son's mates have had their (cheap Haulfrauds standard) bikes taken by force on their school commute.  Neither apparently bothered to report it to Police on a "what's the point?" basis.

Alessandro | 4 months ago

The UK is slowly becoming a island filled with lawless ghettos where so many crimes below a certain threshold have essentially been decriminalised because the police don't and can't do anything about them, largley due to having funding cut to the bone. 

Nick T | 4 months ago

Cool, I'll be sure to attend one of those pop up events so I can learn how to safely store and register the bike that's been taken from me at knifepoint and is now stripped to its component parts on a shipping container

open_roads replied to Nick T | 4 months ago

It's akin to the Met police advising mugging victims to fit a crooklock to their car steering wheel.

Rendel Harris | 4 months ago


A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Service told the Telegraph: “There are over 1.2 million bike journeys a year in London"

Umm...there are 1.26 million cycling trips in London per day. Slip of the tongue or more indicative of a worrying ignorance from the police of just how important cycling is in London?

Sriracha replied to Rendel Harris | 4 months ago

The one betrays the other!

Alessandro replied to Rendel Harris | 4 months ago
1 like

There's only enough funding left to do the count for one day a year. 

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