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Bike thefts shock

Cycling commuters are three times more likely to have their bike stolen from Bognor Regis’ train station than Chichester’s.


A BBC study has highlighted the number of bikes stolen from Bognor Regis train station since 2016.


Trevor Tupper, the secretary and treasurer for the West Sussex Rail Users Association, said: “I know there have been lots of bikes stolen from Bognor Station, especially when compared to Chichester.


“Chichester station has a great bike set up, with a two-tiered lock area, close to the building and monitored by CCTV.


“Bognor’s bike area is outside the actual station and isn’t as well monitored.
“The association has suggested moving the bike shelter to platform four where it can be over-looked more closely.


“The money could come out of the passenger benefit fund from Govia Thameslink Railway.”


Despite having half as many people passing through the station annually, Bognor Regis Station had 109 bikes stolen since 2016. Chichester had just 29 more.


For every thousand visitors at Bognor Regis station in 2018, three bikes were taken compared to one in Chichester.


Sam Jones, senior campaigns officer at the charity Cycling UK, said: “Bicycle theft might seem a relatively minor offence, and unfortunately is sometimes treated as such by some police forces, but it is definitely not.


“It’s a low risk, high reward crime, with stolen bikes easily changing hands for hundreds or even thousands of pounds on the internet.


“The majority of these bicycles stolen from train stations are not just play things, but are undoubtedly being used as a vital link in someone’s journey to work or school.”


Like the West Sussex Rail Users Association, Cycling UK also put emphasis on improving measures that are already in place. A spokesman said:


“With the Government investing £6.8m in new cycle–rail parking, it’s crucial that these new spaces are built to high standards. Not just in terms of accessibility, but also security.


“This would involve CCTV and ensure that they are close to the station itself.


“Bike theft is notoriously under-reported which is one of the reasons why it is not given the attention it deserves.

“To help the police prioritise this crime it’s important that victims report it to the police.”


A spokesman for Southern Rail’s operator, Govia Thameslink Railway, said:


“We work closely with the British Transport Police and run joint bicycle marking schemes.


“In the past we have handed out free high-security locks. We also have notices advising cyclists on how to lock their bikes securely.


“Our own rail enforcement officers work alongside the BTP. We have put dedicated patrols in uniform and plain clothes at station hotspots.”

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