Bike thefts drop after police crackdown on Brick Lane market

BIKE thefts in the East End’s most famous market have dropped by almost 40 per cent due to an on-going police crackdown.

The Met decided to take action against unscrupulous thieves selling stolen cycles in Brick Lane after seeing a rise in the number of thefts across Tower Hamlets in August.

They put officers on patrol across the market on Sundays, with some carrying out undercover tactics to catch thieves and those selling stolen bikes.

Insp Graham Horwood, of the Met’s cycle task force, said: “The number of people offering stolen bikes for sale has gone down dramatically.”

From a peak of 179 bikes stolen across Tower Hamlets in August, last month’s figures show 103 thefts.

There were 151 crimes in September and 133 in October, showing a consecutive drop.

Brick Lane was chosen for the operation - dubbed ‘Helium’ - because it is one of the key spots in London attracting stolen bike sellers.

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There have been 14 bike theft related arrests and 10 bikes returned to their owners since the operation began.

The patrols involved the Met’s Safer Transport Command (STC), Transport for London, Tower Hamlets police and the borough’s Market Services.