Bike thieves strike during CCTV outage at St Albans City station

Bike stands at St Albans City Station. Picture: Archant

Bike stands at St Albans City Station. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

A commuter has criticised the “huge failure” of CCTV at St Albans City station after his bike was stolen.

Matt, who is from Marshalswick and preferred not to give his last name, was one of three people to have his bike stolen from the station on Thursday, October 31.

Although he praised the response of British Transport Police, he said that a lack of reliable CCTV at the station meant that they were unable to catch the culprit.

He said: "I make a point of parking my bike in front of the CCTV cameras so I thought that could be relied upon. That's obviously what they're for - to protect your stuff.

"I'd spoken to station staff when it happened, and they said the CCTV has recently been improved and new cameras have gone up.

"They have building works going on at the station - it's bad timing if that has impacted the CCTV not working."

Matt was told that the CCTV cameras are out for periods, but he did not know how long for.

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He said: "Because they haven't recorded it the British Transport Police can't do anything. If they can't use the CCTV then that's a huge failure.

"It wasn't the most expensive bike - I didn't have it insured because it wasn't worth it - but you feel violated when someone's taken your stuff."

On the day of the theft, Matt met up with two other people whose bikes were stolen on the same day, and they reported it together.

Govia Thameslink Railway's head of security Tony Holland said: "We are sorry to hear that a passenger's bike has been stolen and are reviewing the CCTV coverage during the current station redevelopment work.

"We take cycle security very seriously and are creating more secure cycle parking facilities with improved CCTV and lighting as priority elements of the £5m station upgrade.

"Across the network, we work closely with the British Transport Police and run joint bicycle marking schemes, and have in the past handed out free high-security locks.

"Our own rail enforcement officers work alongside the BTP and at station hotspots we have put in dedicated patrols."

Last month, prolific bike thief Samuel Boateng was jailed for 18 counts of theft from St Albans and Harpenden stations this year.