CYCLISTS have been urged to buy trackers as councillors complain of soaring bicycle thefts in Maidenhead town centre.

Problems of bicycle thefts have been mentioned in the past, but the police have been finding it difficult to recover them due to a lack of description of the stolen bike, lack of leads to find it, and people not coming forward when one is recovered.

Jeff Pick, police, community engagement, and resilience officer at Thames Valley Police is now urging the public to purchase trackers and hide them in a discreet area of their bicycle to find out where it has gone.

Speaking at a Maidenhead town forum on Thursday (May 12), Mr Pick said: “We’re hoping if we can persuade people to put trackers on these bikes, which are not very expensive, we can find out where they go.”

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Cllr Donna Stimson (Con: St Mary’s), lead member for climate action and sustainability, said these trackers could be funded by the climate partnership. She said: “It breaks people’s hearts when this [bicycle thefts] happens.”

Within his report to councillors, the police recorded eight thefts of bikes in the last 31 days. This does not include bicycles stolen from sheds and garages as it is counted as a home burglary.

Mr Pick was unsure why a mixture of expensive and cheap bicycles are stolen, but thinks they are stolen for parts.

Councillors were concerned commuter bicycles left in the cycle storage area at Maidenhead train station are a hotspot for thieves. Cllr Gurch Singh (Lib Dem: St Mary’s) said: “Maidenhead railway station is the bike theft capital of Europe at the moment.”

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Calls were made for Network Rail and Great Western Railway (GWR) to add a new or move the current bike shed closer to the entrance to deter thieves as it did before where one was in front of the WHSmiths.

Edward Goose, GWR’s regional growth manager, said the cycle storage is outside the station’s boundary line and has limited powers to address this, but will join up with the council to consider action points both authorities can take.

He also said tighter bicycle security within their boundary line will be considered when the station is reviewed for possible improvement works.