Jeremy Vine’s championing of cycling has often been a breath of fresh air, but the broadcast and journalist has extended his efforts to help a bike theft victim.
Vine, a keen cyclist himself, recently put out an appeal after his NHS nurse neighbour’s was stolen from outside the hospital where she works.
Earlier this month, Vine drew attention to the theft after his neighbour Joey Langton discovered the stolen bike had been listed on Gumtree.
But after reporting the theft to police and obtaining the name and address of the thief online, she was told by officers that they couldn’t investigate further.
But after Vine’s appeal, cycling and motoring retailer Halfords has stepped in to offer a free replacement bike to Ms Langton.
Vine said on Twitter: “Want to say a big thank you to the generous people of Halfords – they gave my neighbour (NHS nurse Joey) a new bike after hers was stolen outside the mental health unit where she works.”
Ms Langton has been given a new Boardman hybrid bike to replace her stolen machine, so she can get back to caring for people in the mental health unit where she is based.
A Halfords spokesperson said: “It’s the right thing to do. As soon as we saw Jeremy Vine’s tweet and heard about Joey’s story we put the wheels in motion and contacted them on social media.
“We’re trying to do our bit for all the NHS and emergency workers and other unsung heroes across the community who seem to becoming an easy target for unscrupulous thieves. Thefts like this can be incredibly disruptive, especially at such a critical time when it can leave many frontline workers without a vital mode of transport. Fortunately there is widespread support from the public and companies doing their bit to keep emergency workers on the road.”
Last month, Cycling Weekly reported that a household insurer has seen an almost 50 per cent increase in bike thefts since the coronavirus lockdown started.
Cycling retailers have seen a significant jump in the number of people buying bikes, as they look for new ways of staying fit and travelling to work.
But in turn criminals have been taking advantage of cycling’s growing popularity, resulting in an increase in bike thefts over the last seven weeks, despite burglaries falling because people are staying at home.
The Halfords spokesperson added: “We’d recommend that if you have a bike, then photograph it, capture the frame number and any unique features it has, to help you, the public and the police identify it if it does get stolen.”
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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