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Bike thefts from railway stations in Kent risen by more than a third

New statistics show the number of bikes stolen from railway stations in the county has gone up by more than a third in the past three years.

KentOnline can reveal in the last year alone the number of bikes stolen in the county was 386, from the 61 stations.

The rise in thefts comes after police figures show, apart from London, the south east is targeted by bike thieves more than anywhere else in the country.

Scroll down to find out how many thefts happened at the station near you

Railway Station Bike
Railway Station Bike

The statistics, which were obtained from British Transport Police, show which stations have the highest number of thefts.

Ashford International comes top, with 130 being taken in the past three years - increasing from 25 in 2016-17 to 58 over the following financial year and 47 in the last 12 months.

Next came Canterbury West which had 91 thefts over the three years with Gravesend, Sevenoaks and Dartford completing the top five.

In total 1,052 bikes were reported stolen from railway stations across the county during the period.

Earlier this year KMTV reported on the problem of bike thefts at Canterbury West station

British Transport Police Supt Mark Cleland, said: "Unfortunately, bikes remain a popular target for opportunistic thieves and we understand the frustration to cyclists when their bike is stolen.

“We’re determined to tackle any rise in cycle crime and work closely with train operating companies to improve bike security at station. This includes encouraging operators to invest in dedicated cycle storage areas or high quality CCTV cameras.

"All this helps at disrupting crime but also in tracking down those responsible for taking bikes."

Gravesend Station Cycle Hub (14667622)
Gravesend Station Cycle Hub (14667622)

There are currently 2923 secure bike spaces available at stations for cyclists across the county.

Gravesend, Dartford and Greenhithe stations have opened Cycle Hubs which allow riders to cycle to the train station and park their bike in a safe, dry and secure hub for a fee .

It was also revealed this year that Canterbury West bike spaces are to double after an £104,000 investment issued by Southeastern.

Supt Cleland added: “To help is deter crime, we recommend that that cyclists invest in good quality D locks, and get their bikes securely marked and registered here.

"Getting your bike registered helps police trace recovered cycles and return them to their owners. It also makes your property less appealing to would-be thieves.

"We regularly hold cycle surgeries where you can get your bike security marked for free at stations across the country."

In June the Department for Transport announced it would be spending £6.8million on providing more spaces for cyclists to store bikes at train stations across the country with some areas also getting CCTV and lighting.

But some campaigners claim this doesn't go far enough.

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Sam Jones, senior campaigns officer at the charity Cycling UK said: "Bicycle theft might seem a relatively minor offence – and unfortunately is sometimes treated as such by some police forces – but it is most definitely not.

"It’s a low risk, high reward crime, with stolen bikes easily changing hands for hundreds or even thousands of pounds on the internet.

"The majority of these bicycles stolen from train stations are not just play things, but are undoubtedly being used as a vital link in someone’s journey to work or school.

"Tens of thousands of bikes are stolen every year across the UK, and sadly very few are ever recovered and returned to their rightful owners."

To get the latest updates in ongoing cases, police appeals and criminals put behind bars, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent


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