Watson Response to Bicycle Store Thefts

Following overtures to Watson regarding the recent thefts from the Leetham House bicycle stores, the LHTA Chair received the following response from Ian Omant, Associate Director:

[Bicycle thefts tend] to go in spates and generally will revolve around the prison time of an individual. You could spend an inordinate amount of money on what is effectively a deterrent to thieves. The cycle stores are a mesh metal cage within a generally secure gated and fob controlled underground car park with the stores having lock entrances covered by CCTV with secure cycle hoops to lock bikes to. If the cycles are secured by good standard cycle locks the issue will generally resolve itself as they will go elsewhere as generally they target easy to steal cycles. To secure these to say your garage at home standard would require solid walls and doors and the cost of this in my mind is just not commensurate with the risk involved. I cycle and spend a fortune on my bike and it is kept within the main build of my house and is insured for theft away from the home I would advise anyone as I always have that I wouldn’t put any cycle of a high value in a communal store without having it insured and also use of the high standard security lock as I have no knowledge of the morals of my fellow residents so security in my mind starts at the front door of your apartment with the best locks you can fit, on your car again the same with the best alarms and again on a cycle ensure it is insured and locked with a gold standard security lock.

I know it can sometimes seem heartless but no developer or development will generally go to the expense required to provide as secure as possible cycle store, what is provided is more than is generally provided on most it is a matter of hoops to the floor within a locked courtyard.

Whilst it is apparent from Ian’s response that Watson are satisfied with the current cycle stores arrangements and are not planning any further changes to the at present, the Committee believe that further improvements could be achieved at modest cost, and will seek to persuade Watson accordingly.

3 thoughts on “Watson Response to Bicycle Store Thefts”

  1. Ian is the missing the point here, residents are concerned about security in general. We’ve already heard a few frightening stories about people sleeping (and urinating) in hallways on Phase 1 during the winter, so what’s next? Breaking into cars or apartments? We don’t have bicycles, but what concerns us is how easy it is for thieves to get into the car park in the first place. For example, I don’t know how true it is, but someone suggested that thieves have worked out how to open the garage doors by setting the fire alarms off.

  2. I think there is another issue here. The problem is that non bike owners can access the area with their fob. Is there not an arguement that only fobs of users should be able to open it?

    • That’s not really practical, Stephen. Just because a resident doesn’t currently have a bicycle, if they bought one they would have to have their fob reprogrammed. More importantly however, whether residents have a fob or not, there is no evidence that any resident is the person doing the stealing. The bike stores are being broken into rather than being accessed with fobs.

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