August 14, 2017

Many’s the time sexual violence has come to the rescue of writers struggling for inspiration when knocking out an angry letter to the press. If you’re ever stuck for a memorable metaphor, the standard advice for novice writers runs, “you can always rely on rape.”

It must have been with this sage old adage in mind that Dutch Tony of bikers action front We Ride London this week compared calls for bike manufacturers to do more to combat vehicle theft as “like making rape the fault of women who wear short skirts or drink too much”.

Why should bike manufacturers waste time and money making their products less attractive targets for thieves, Dutch demands to know from a shed somewhere in East London, when taxpayers pay the police good money to chase down the criminals who are swiping London scooters by the dozen every day.

If manufacturers made bikes harder to steal, he argues, the extra costs would be passed on to consumers in higher purchase prices. Instead, the industry meeds to push back and put the responsibility for preventing theft firmly where it belongs, with Britain’s overpaid and under-utilised police forces.

From a manufacturers’ point of view, of course, there’s the added disincentive (a point Dutch strangely neglects to mention) that for every bike nicked there’s a decent prospect of a new one being purchased.

“The industry needs to join forces,” Dutch urges, “to lobby the government to ensure the police are given a clear mandate, and supporting powers, to pursue scooter thieves and ensure there are consequences for being a criminal.”

The concept of consequentialising crime is a timely suggestion, Bankstone News would humbly submit, and an innovation that could usefully be extended to other areas of criminality.

But, rather than just sitting on the sidelines writing letters to the press, We Ride London are committed to taking direct action to encourage the Metropolitan Police in their thus-far half-hearted attempts to do something about the capital’s scooter theft crimewave and the solvent-based violence that increasingly accompanies it.

On 30 August the group is organising a ‘ride out’ that will see bikers ‘ride out’ in motorised protest at bike theft, official inaction in the face of it, and, presumably, the unreasonableness of expecting bike manufacturers to make bikes harder to steal.


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