SINGAPORE - Bicycle thefts - the No 1 scourge of cyclists here - could soon become a thing of the past.
Tampines GRC yesterday became the first constituency to launch high security labels for bicycles - and the programme will be rolled out by the police and the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) to other constituencies in phases from May.
NCPC chairman Tan Kian Hoon said: "The NCPC is always looking at different ways to stop preventable crimes. As the bicycle population increases in Singapore, it is timely that we have a more proactive approach to tackling bike theft. By giving bicycles a unique identity, it would make it harder for thieves to use their stolen bikes openly."
In 2009, 1,074 cases of bike theft were reported to the police, a spike of 399 cases from 2008, prompting the police to list this as an area of concern in their 2009 crime situation report. Last year, the number of bicycle theft cases fell sharply to 719 cases. Out of these cases, some 240 bicycle thieves were caught.
In March last year, Tampines officially became Singapore's first cycling town when amended by-laws took effect to allow Tampines Town Council to take enforcement action against reckless cyclists on footways.
Yesterday, it became the first to launch the bicycle security label programme, as part of its efforts to be a "model cycling town".
Under the initiative, residents who own bicycles can obtain tamper-proof labels which contain security features. They are also encouraged to register the labels in the online Bicycle Identification System administered by Tampines Town Council.
Said Tampines GRC Member of Parliament Irene Ng: 'With more residents owning bicycles and using it as a mode of transport, we thought it will benefit our residents to work with the police to launch the bicycle security labels in Tampines."
Holland Drive resident Edwin Ang, 36, could hardly wait for the project to be extended islandwide. His S$3,000 mountain bike was stolen from outside his flat despite having a lock on it.
Said the avid cyclist: "The tamper-proof labels and getting cyclists to register their security labels is a good idea - it will be easier for the police to track stolen bikes. Thieves might think twice about stealing a bike if they know they can be traced."
Thursday, March 31, 2011
"Battling bicycle thieves" - Tampines GRC launches high security labels for bicycles
"Battling bicycle thieves," by Ong Dai Lin. Today Online, 21 Mar 2011.