Worry over disturbing rise in attacks on cyclists in Dublin

by Padraig Conlon

A local representative has proposed a new approach to eradicate the scourge of bicycle theft in Dublin.

Last week two Dublin cyclists, Yaman Umuroglu and Liam Molloy, shared their horrific stories of how they were attacked on the Grand Canal cycle path in separate incidents by teenagers with metal bars.

According to the most recent figures 3,929 bicycles were reported stolen in Dublin in 2018, and of those only 286 were recovered.

Now Fianna Fail Dublin South West TD and party spokesperson on Dublin, John Lahart, has written to Minister Shane Ross this week calling for the immediate establishment of a new national bike register allowing cyclists register their bike with an Garda Siochana.

Lahart believes this would be an effective anti-theft measure and following the recent violent attacks could act as a successful deterrent.

“In recent days, we have heard from a number of people who have been violently attacked and robbed by bike thieves,” Deputy Lahart said.

“This is increasingly prevalent along Dublin’s canal, a popular cycling route with commuters.

“One man shared his story of being attacked by a gang of youths with metal rods, before they stole his e-bike.

“This must have been a terrifying experience, and not one which any person should face on their way into or out of work.”

“With the rise of e-bikes, which tend to have a higher resale value than conventional bikes, this trend is unlikely to reverse, unless strong action is taken.

“In addition to a stronger police presence on the ground, we need measures that are specifically targeted at cracking down on bike thefts.

“Bike registers are already in place in several cities and countries around the world, and they seem to have an important deterrent effect.

“The reality is that cycling is an important mode of transport, and the Minister of Transport needs to be more invested in keeping cyclists safe,’ Deputy Lahart concluded.

When asked about Lahart’s plan for a national bike register by Dublin Gazette, a garda spokesperson said An Garda Siochana’s 2018 ‘Lock it or Lose It’ campaign recommends how cyclists can keep their bicycles safe.

“We are appealing to everyone from the pros to the Sunday cyclist to lock their bikes as securely as possible,” the gardai advise.

“There has been an increase in the number of people cycling over recent years, but unfortunately there is poor awareness of bike security.

“Nowadays with the cycle to work scheme, people are investing in more expensive bikes so it makes sense to invest in quality locks to prevent bike theft.

“A few simple tips such as; spending 10% to 20% of the value of the bike on two locks, locking your bike tightly to an immovable object and keep the lock off the ground, will make life difficult for the thief.

“Take a photo of your bike, note the serial number and email it back to yourself so you have a record of it.

“There is a trend of not reporting theft of bikes to Gardaí which makes it difficult for us to reunite any recovered bikes with their owners.

“If your bike is stolen, report the theft to gardai as soon as you can.

“If you have had your bicycle stolen, you can go onto the Garda website to view bicycles and all other property that is currently in our property stores.”

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