AddThis SmartLayers

Theft of editor’s bike prompts news site to highlight problem on patch

Alex RossThe theft of an editor’s bicycle has sparked a city news title’s campaign examining the issue.

Bristol World has sought to highlight the problem of bikes being stolen in the city after revealing 1,500 such crimes were recorded there last year.

The JPIMedia-owned website is running a week-long focus on the issue, a series of stories reporting on the extent of the problem, its impact on victims and what the police are doing to combat it.

One piece reveals the hotspot areas in Bristol for bike thefts last year with interactive maps created by JPI sister site NationalWorld’s data team.

The campaign’s launch comes after editor Alex Ross had his own bike stolen in the city in October.

Alex, pictured, said: “Unfortunately, in Bristol it feels like everyone you speak to has had a bike stolen, or knows of someone who has.

“I, myself, was a victim last year so I know the horrible feeling when finding your bike missing with only a couple of broken parts of a lock on the floor to show for it.

“So, with summer coming along and the start of the city’s first Clean Air Zone in September, I felt it was important we explore the issue with a series of stories with input from police, victims, businesses and cycling groups.

“My hope is that it shines the spotlight on thieves operating out in public while also providing assurance and crime prevention advice to cyclists.

“We may never be able to completely stamp out bike theft, but we can make it harder for the criminals by talking more about it.”

As part of the focus one of Bristol World’s journalists test purchased a pair of heavy duty bolt cutters from a city centre Wilko store – and were only asked if they were aged over 25.

As a result, Bristol North West MP Darren Jones has asked the company to review its sale of the item.

He said: “I’m not sure why Wilkos should feel the need to stock such a large volume of these tools at such a low price, especially given the evidence that they are associated with crimes in our city.

“Wilko management must review this situation and, at the very least, put in place a policy which addresses this issue as soon as possible.”