Letter to Minister Donohoe regarding Bike Theft

The campaign sent the following letter to Minister Donohoe seeking a meeting to discuss bicycle theft.

Dear Minister Donohoe

Dublin Cycling Campaign is an independent, voluntary group lobbying local and national government to bring about improved conditions for cyclists and greater recognition of the benefits of cycling. We have been working for over 21 years to make our city more liveable, and have been active with all of Dublin’s Local Authorities, as you will be aware from your former position on Dublin City Council. We are also a member of Cyclist.ie, The Irish Cycle Advocacy Network, with sister organisations around the country. As Chairperson of the campaign I am writing to you about the growing problem of bicycle theft, which has a very negative effect on the potential growth of cycling in Ireland. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss with you some of the actions we believe are necessary to curb this problem.

Bicycle theft has doubled since the introduction of the Bike to Work scheme in 2009. We estimate that 20,000 bicycles are stolen in Dublin each year and the conviction rate is only 2% for reported bicycle thefts. Our research shows that 1 in 6 people who have had a bicycle stolen do not replace it. The high level of bicycle theft is a barrier to the Government’s target of 10% of trips by bicycle by 2020.

We recently launched an anti-bike theft campaign (press release attached). Our research into how this has been tackled in other countries shows that a multi-pronged approach is needed:

• A state co-ordinating body to oversee the work of the various stakeholders
• A massive increase in secure bicycle parking throughout the city
• Bicycle theft to be given a higher priority by the Gardaí
• A tighter code of practice for buyers and sellers of second hand bikes on line
• More responsibility taken by cyclists in buying better locks, not buying second hand stolen bikes and always reporting stolen bikes to the Gardaí

Through our parent organisation, Cyclist.ie, we have already requested a meeting with you, to discuss items such as

• the appointment of a National Cycling Officer,
• the funding of cycling over the remaining period of NCPF
• the development of the national cycle training program
• the development of 30kph zones, a process, which you have already instigated
• Appointment to the board of the RSA.

But, of immediate concern to us is the topic of bicycle theft and we would welcome the opportunity to meet with you at your earliest convenience, as your Department have a potentially central role in helping to begin to solve this problem. We look forward to hearing from you

Yours sincerely

Keith Byrne
Chairperson, Dublin Cycling Campaign

Open Letter
Tuesday, November 18, 2014

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