Windsor 'one of the bike theft capitals' in Thames Valley

Shay Bottomley

Windsor is one of the ‘bike theft capitals’ of the Thames Valley region and police officers are encouraging residents with keyless car entry systems to take precautions.

Presenting the crime statistics at Windsor Town Forum on Tuesday, Jeffrey Pick, community engagement and resilience officer for Windsor and Maidenhead, revealed that 22 bikes had been stolen in Windsor in the 31 days prior to Sunday, July 15.

He added that the figure did not include bikes which had been stolen from sheds as they are recorded as ‘burglary dwellings’ (living accommodation) of which there were eight during the period.

“22 bikes pinched is still quite high,” said Cllr Neil Knowles (OWRA, Old Windsor).

“It works as a kind of barrier to people using bikes to go into town – it certainly puts me off.”

Mr Pick said that Thames Valley Police were planning to attend a weekly Cycle Hub session at The Swan pub in Clewer to provide free markings to for bicycles.

“What we want to do is to get volunteers and a PCSO down to these events. I went to one of them, and there were about 30 or 40 bike riders there, so it is big in the borough, and we need to take advantage of them,” he added.

“We’ve got bike register equipment so we can organise all of that. It costs £1 a bike, but we’re absorbing that because we want to reduce these figures.”

Mr Pick also highlighted the concern over keyless entry systems which thieves were using to access vehicles using a scanner.

In one incident, two thieves were able to access a vehicle using a gadget ‘the size of a cigarette packet with aerials on’ in footage caught on a video doorbell.

Cllr Amy Tisi (Lib Dem, Clewer East) asked what measures residents could take, including the use of faraday cages which block electromagnetic fields.

“[Keyless fobs should be kept] a minimum of 30 feet away from the car,” Mr Pick replied.

“I used to say put them in the fridge or in the microwave, until someone forgot they were in the microwave, put their dinner in and blew the microwave up.”

He added that TVP were recommending credit card wallets with electromagnetic blockers to ensure that keyless fobs could not be used to gain remote access to the vehicle, as well as highlighting handbags and purses with faraday cages already built in.

Some of the key crime statistics in Windsor were:

Five burglaries from garages, sheds, or outbuildings.

Four thefts of a car, with one recovered after the driver forgot where they’d parked it.

A theft of a van and another of a campervan.

Four vehicles entered by unknown means.

Seven thefts from vans.

One catalytic converter was stolen.

22 bikes stolen.

Illegal fishing at Romney Weir.

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