The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP
Secretary of State for the Home Department
Home Office Direct Communications Unit 2
Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DF

13 August 2018

I have recently been contacted by constituents in Dulwich and West Norwood, regarding an increase in motor vehicle crime and moped and bicycle-enabled crimes in the local area. These crimes include theft of motor vehicles and theft and misuse of mopeds and hire bicycles, particularly docking-station free hire bikes.

My constituents would like to see the government take a more proactive approach to moped crime, including working with moped manufacturers to ensure that they introduce better security measures to stop mopeds from being so easy to steal, and by funding councils to install more secure anchor points for mopeds, an effective way to reduce the theft of mopeds and prevent stolen mopeds from being used to facilitate other crimes.

My constituents are further anxious to see the government act to reduce vehicle theft. It is clear that action is needed to urge ensure that manufacturers improve security and locking mechanisms in order to stem the epidemic of “relay” and other types of vehicle theft. Many manufacturers use the same electronic key to both open vehicles and start the engine and this appears to be a key weakness.

I have also received reports of docking-station free hire bikes being used to facilitate robbery in my constituency, particularly those brands of bikes with weak locking mechanisms which are easy to break by hand. I fully support measures to increase cycling and to make bike hire more accessible, but it is clear that this unintended consequence is not acceptable and must be addressed. I am therefore requesting that you engage the providers of docking station-free hire bikes to address this issue as a matter of urgency.

Finally, I have highlighted on many occasions the cuts to police budgets which are stretching our local teams to the limit. Reversing the £1 billion cut to the Metropolitan Police budget would ensure that the police have the resources to be proactive in addressing these crimes. I look forward to hearing from you.

Helen Hayes MP