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Question

330. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Justice the number of bike thefts reported in Dublin city from 2015 to 2020, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30295/21]

Answer

Minister for Justice (Deputy Heather Humphreys): As the Deputy will be aware, theft is an offence under section 4 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001. Anyone convicted of a theft offence is liable to a penalty of a fine or up to 10 years imprisonment. Under section 14 of the Act, a person found guilty of robbery (theft using coercion or force) is potentially liable on conviction on indictment to life imprisonment. As the Deputy will appreciate, the sentence in any individual case is a matter for the presiding Judge.
I am advised by the Garda authorities that a search of the PULSE database was conducted on 1 June 2021 to identify any incident of theft/unauthorised taking of a pedal cycle reported in either DMR North Central or DMR South Central between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2020.
The table below sets out the number of bike thefts reported in Dublin City from 2015 to 2020

Division 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
DMR North   Central 742 836 837 687 674 596
DMR South   Central 1163 1106 1128 893 1119 938
Total  1905 1942 1965 1580 1793 1534

*These figures are operational and may be liable to change. Crime counting rules are applied.
The Deputy may be aware that there are a number of initiatives being taken by An Garda Síochána to tackle bike theft, including the ‘Lock it or Lose it’ initiative which was announced on 13 May, which focuses on reminding the public to take extra precautions to keep their bikes safe by locking them in the most secure way possible.
The Blue Bike scheme has also been designed to highlight bike theft hotspots by placing an end of life bike, painted blue, in such areas with a large sign warning members of the public to lock their bikes and be aware of bike theft. This scheme has three goals:
1 To warn the public that bike thieves are operating in the area;
2 To deter crime by informing offenders that An Garda Síochána are monitoring the area; and
3 To thereby create a safer place for members of the public to lock and secure their bikes.
I am informed that, in addition to the ‘Lock it or Lose it’ and Blue Bike initiatives, Gardaí will be resuming property marking schemes and the use of so-called ‘bait bicycles’ in areas which have been identified as bike theft hotspots as we emerge from COVID-19. Other responses that will be pursued by Gardaí include surveillance of known offenders, the monitoring of any offenders’ current bail conditions and where necessary the appropriate action of any breach of their bail with the relevant courts, and proactive policing, both overt and covert, of hotspot areas.