Police inspector tackling bike theft across city
A POLICE inspector has been tasked with reducing cycle theft in the city.
Pete Ogden has taken over as the inspector overseeing the East and Park neighbourhood policing teams, which cover most of east Hull.
He has also taken on responsibility for tackling cycle theft across the city.
Insp Ogden has spent the past seven years as an inspector for the incident response team, overseeing police response to 999 calls in Hull.
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"It is definitely very different," said Insp Ogden, who has 26 years of policing experience.
"That was very busy and about dealing with calls as and when they come in.
"I'm looking forward to being able to make a real impact in the areas and forming links with the local communities."
Insp Ogden says thieves often see bikes as an easy target, with many secured by weak locks or left in vulnerable places.
Between February last year and January this year, 1,977 bikes were stolen in the city, although that does not include bikes taken from sheds and garages.
The previous year, 1,939 bikes were stolen.
"Although there has been a slight increase, the number is similar to the year before, but it is still too high," said Insp Ogden. It is not so much an increasing problem as an ongoing problem. It can be a major cost and outlay for people, though.
"Bikes aren't cheap and they are often the only mode of transport someone has, so having it stolen is a huge inconvenience for them.
"Most thieves will look for an easy target, which a bike is if it is unlocked or weakly locked or not in a very visible area.
"It is in everyone's interests to make it as difficult as possible for thieves."
In his role as portfolio holder for cycle theft, Insp Ogden hopes to raise awareness of cycle security and encourage people to have their bikes marked.
He said: "I want to do two things really and that is encourage and advise people to secure their cycles properly, and also encourage them to get their bikes marked.
"One of the big problems we have is it is very hard to identify a bike is stolen. We have officers on the ground, who stop suspicious people and may recover bikes, but if they are not marked, it is very hard to reunite them with their owners.
"We do hold a lot of bike-marking events so people can get their cycles marked for free."
Insp Ogden has replaced Inspector Bill Grieve as the neighbourhood inspector, who has retired.
Insp Ogden will divide his time between Preston Road police station, where the Park neighbourhood team is based, and Tower Grange police station, where the East team is based while Bransholme police station is closed for refurbishment.