Brussels to combat bicycle theft with new action plan
Brussels Minister of Mobility Elke Van den Brandt (Groen) will fight bicycle theft in the capital with a new action plan. Secure bicycle racks, more officers on bicycles, and ‘bait bikes’ are part of the plan and should help triple the number of cyclists in Brussels by 2030.
According to the latest figures, we saw 4 931 reported bicycle thefts in the Brussels region in 2019. An increase of 15% compared to 2018. However, that’s only the tip of the iceberg, as it is estimated that only one-third of bicycle theft is actually reported. A realistic estimation turns around 15 000 bicycle thefts.
More monitoring of hotspots
The Brussels Government approved the Bicycle Parking Master Plan in early 2021 and hoped that parking.brussels and Brussels Mobility could start implementing it this year.
More secure bicycle parking spaces, but also reversed U-bars and support for the municipalities are necessary. Furthermore, to fight against organized bicycle theft, several pilot projects will be carried out.
For example, by tracking private bicycles or by using bait bikes, although the agreement of the public prosecutor’s office is still required. In addition, hotspots will be monitored more intensively, and the plan requires each police zone to have at least one cycling officer.
And Cycloparking is also launching a promotional campaign for the large secure bicycle parking facilities in the capital center at the Bourse and De Brouckère stations. Interested cyclists can take out an annual subscription with a 50% discount until December 31.
Only 5% of bikes in Brussels registered
In terms of knowledge and evaluation, more figures are to be collected, and there will be a tri-annual survey of bicycle thefts, the next of which is planned for this year.
To increase the commitment, the government is also counting on the cycling community itself. Cyclo vzw will recycle abandoned bicycles, and the number of registrations on the mybike.brussels.platform must increase.
Only 20.000 bikes are registered, which is still only 5% of all bikes in Brussels. Finally, regular awareness-raising campaigns will follow. Reporting bicycle theft should be made easier via police-on-web, the Brussels news site Bruzz recommends.