Initiative sees stolen bikes donated to NHS staff
- Credit: Met Police
More than 100 stolen, unclaimed bicycles being kept by the Met Police were handed out to NHS workers at an event.
Officers from the force's Central East Command Unit, which covers Tower Hamlets and Hackney, teamed up with charity Pro Bike Service CIC to arrange the event on April 26 and 27 at Here East in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
The charity repaired and serviced the bikes for free, while representatives from BikeRegister and Sold Secure also attended to register the recipients and their bicycles on the National Cycle Database and provide security locks.
Sgt Jo Stephens said some of the bikes have been in police storage for years.
"Sadly, efforts to trace the owners of these bicycles have been without success, or no-one has ever come forward to claim them."
The charity approached the police after it publicised a warrant it executed in Hackney last year where hundreds of stolen bikes were recovered, she added.
"Those are not the ones that are being given away here, but we were contacted on the back of the publicity by Pro Bike Service CIC with an idea for re-distributing old bikes in long-term storage.
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"It seemed like a great idea to give them to people and for them to be put to good use again.”
The bicycles were given out to staff from Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs Newham, Mile End and Royal London hospitals.
Charity founder Lawrence Mohammed said: "When I saw the work Jo and her team were doing, I thought it aligned really well with our guiding principles.
"We had already gifted our entire bicycle stock to the NHS staff at Newham, Whipps Cross, Royal London and Homerton hospitals in 2020, so this seemed like an opportunity to do even more to help support those on the frontline who support us.
“All of the bikes gifted needed servicing, repair and new parts to be brought back to their former glory and the number of bikes the Met have secured exceeded my expectations."
He now wants other bike shops to support the initiative.
Andrew Attfield, associate director of public health at Barts, said: “Barts Health staff are incredibly grateful to the Metropolitan Police and Pro Bike Service CIC for organising this contribution.”
For advice on bike safety, visit the Met's website.