Hampshire police deny organised gang of criminals is responsible for bike theft crisis at railway stations
FEARS an organised gang of thieves are raiding railway stations and stealing bikes have been downplayed by police.
One of Hampshire Constabulary’s top officers has sought to reassure the community that a gang is not on the prowl for cycles.
It comes after railway stations in Fareham and Fratton were highlighted as having the highest bicycle theft rates in the country.
Now Portsmouth District Chief Inspector Rob Mitchell insisted gangs were not operating at the area’s rail link network.
Speaking to The News, he said: ‘The majority of cycle thefts tend to be opportunistic from public places or outbuildings with thieves taking anything of reasonable value.
‘There is nothing to make us think that has changed recently or that an organised crime group is behind the bike thefts in our area.’
Figures from the British Transport Police showed there were 152 bikes stolen from Fareham since 2016 – Britain’s third-highest rate.