City to install better CCTV to put brakes on bike thefts
A new security camera system is to be installed at Hamilton City Hall car park to help stop the theft of scores of bikes every month.
City officials said that 42 motorcycles were stolen each month on average last year - 1.4 a day - and that most were locked when they were taken.
The city appealed to motorcycle owners to be vigilant and added that an education campaign with police and insurance companies would be launched.
Dwayne Caines, the city’s chief executive, said the new CCTV system outside City Hall would be in operation “in short order”.
Mr Caines said the city also planned to install bike-locking bars in some parking areas and put up extra signs in the car parks.
He added: “Over the coming weeks, the public will hear and see informative commercials across social media, radio, TV and print with tips on how we can keep our city streets and car parks safe from theft.
“Vehicle theft affects us all, even if we are not the direct victims of a crime.
“It costs insurance companies thousands of dollars in claims each year – which drives up insurance premiums for all of us.”
Mr Caines’s motorcycle was stolen from the same car park in 2019, although it was later returned.
Advice included making sure bikes were locked, keys were removed from the ignition, and the use of back-up security such as a disc or throttle lock.
Riders were also advised to consider attaching an alarm or tracking device to their bikes and to park in well-lit areas at night.
The most commonly stolen brands of bike were said be Honda models SH125, Vario, Vision and Click, Yamaha GT125, FZN, Elegance, Nouvo and NVX and the Sym HD125, HD2 125 and Symphony.
Juanita Coley, the claims manager at CG Insurance, said extra precautions could deter thieves.
She added: “We encourage persons to take all necessary precautions when leaving their vehicles unattended.”
A police spokesman said 503 motorcycles were reported stolen across the island last year, with similar numbers expected for 2021.
There were 618 motorcycles reported stolen in 2019.
He added: “Bike crime primarily happens on Saturdays and overnight so we would recommend motorists park in well-lit and high-traffic areas at night.
“Additionally, we strongly encourage the use of a secondary locking mechanism.”
Anyone convicted of bike theft is liable to a $5,000 fine, imprisonment for two years, or both.
To report a stolen bike or suspicious activity, call the Bermuda Police Service at 295-0011 or 211.
Bike owners should have their vehicle registration papers on hand when calling.
Police should be given the vehicle’s licence plate number as well as colour, make and model, engine and frame number, insurance, value of cycle, and any custom details along with the location and time of the theft.
Details will allow vehicle parts to be traced even after a bike has been stripped down by thieves.
The owner should notify their insurer of the theft and the notification of police, with the number of the police report.
Police will require a statement if the vehicle is recovered.
The insurance company will allow a two-week period for any recovery and may require the vehicle owner to hand in their bike keys.