Commuter’s anger over double bike theft from St Albans station

Cycle rack at St Albans station

Cycle rack at St Albans station - Credit: Archant

SURVEILLANCE cameras need to be installed to monitor cycle racks at St Albans train station, according to a fed-up commuter who has had two bikes pinched in the last seven months.

Edward Boggis-Rolfe, of Beaumont Avenue, has accused the rail operator of lulling its customers into a “false sense of security” after he claims they advertise CCTV cameras are watching over the area when in fact there are none in operation.

The 42-year-old has spoken out after having his chained-up bike stolen from the covered rack at the station last Thursday. It was one week old and a replacement for another bike that was taken from the same spot in December.

He said: “There is a speaker saying ‘warning there are CCTV cameras’ but it appears there are no cameras so it is false advertising. It lulls you into a false sense of security.

“You buy these things [bikes] for your fitness and not to have to use the car and then this happens. They are a very easy target.”

Edward reported the incident to British Transport Police who told him they had meetings with First Capital Connect (FCC) every six weeks and the lack of CCTV cameras was often raised.

He added: “I think FCC should look after its customers better. It is not good PR for them, it just makes people cross and leaves them feeling they don’t really care very much about other people’s property.”

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FCC spokesperson Roger Perkins said the firm was “passionate” about promoting cycling in St Albans and the station had over 1,150 bike rack spaces, which was more than any other station in the country.

Mr Perkins continued: “The best way to deter thieves is not through CCTV, it is by locking up one’s bike very securely.

“We have been making great efforts to encourage cyclists to do this: we have held cycle surgeries with the police to promote security marking and the use of two quality locks – one, a D-lock to secure the bike frame to the rack and another to loop around the front wheel. We have also put up signs about this around the station.

“CCTV does, of course, also help but it is expensive. Nevertheless, we have committed to invest another £25,000 to put in more cameras and are seeking quotes for the work as we speak.”