Oral Answers to Questions — Thefts of Bicycles.

– in the House of Commons on 30th July 1942.

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Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been drawn to the large and increasing number of bicycles which have recently been stolen; what action the Government propose to take in the matter; and, in particular, whether they have considered applying to pedal bicycles the same provisions as now apply to motor bicycles, which make it an offence for any motor bicycle to be taken and driven away with out the owner's consent?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave yesterday to a Question by the hon. and learned Member for Warrington (Mr. Goldie).

Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

Has the Home Secretary's attention been drawn to a recent statement made by the Secretary of the Cyclists' Touring Club in which he pointed out that in a small town of some 27,000 inhabitants no fewer than 550 bicycles have been stolen? In Liverpool and Manchester the figure runs into five figures. As so many munition workers depend on bicycles for getting to work, is it not urgent that something should be done in the matter?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

I am very sorry about it, but I can assure my hon. Friend that the Home Office and the police will do all they can. The fundamental difficulty about bicycles is that they are not as readily identifiable as motor vehicles.

Photo of Sir Noel Goldie Sir Noel Goldie , Warrington

While thanking the right hon. Gentleman for the answer he gave me yesterday, may I ask whether it is seriously suggested that men or women cannot recognise their own bicycles in a police station? Is he aware that in the North of England lorries are going round and removing padlocked bicycles, and does he not think it is about time something was done to stop this?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

I think it is desirable to padlock bicycles, but it is no good putting to me whether a person can recognise his bicycle in a police station. I cannot collect all the bicycles in a town, and then get people to come to the police station to identify them. The problem is to get the right bicycle and the right person.

Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

As there was a great reduction in the number of thefts of motor bicycles by the passing of Section 28 of the Road Traffic Act, 1930, should not this provision be made also to apply to pedal bicycles?