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More than 80 nextbikes vandalised or stolen in just five weeks across Cardiff

More than 80 nextbikes have been vandalised or stolen across Cardiff in just over a month.

The company revealed that in that dozens of bikes and stations have been attacked since the start of the year and called on Cardiff residents to be “vigilant”.

On average, more than two bikes a day were damaged or stolen between January 12 and February 18, with front and rear lights, advertising panels, baskets and kickstands often targeted.

Stations have also come under attack, with signage boards being stolen, ripped down or covered in graffiti, locks broken and bike stands damaged.

So far, South Wales Police has made 20 arrests – and four people have been convicted of stealing nextbikes in Cardiff.

Vandalism hotspots include Ely, Caerau, Llanrumney, Llanedeyrn, Tremorfa and Riverside.

Nextbike UK managing director, Krysia Solheim, said the damage was unacceptable.



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“To have this number of bikes damaged in just one month is appalling,” she said. “It’s simply shocking and has an impact on our customers.

“People rely on the fleet to get around the city and every time a bike is made unavailable due to vandalism or theft, it has a knock-on effect to the whole system.

“On average, it is taking our mechanics between two and four hours to repair the damaged bikes, depending on the severity of the vandalism. That’s time they could be spending on general maintenance of the entire fleet.”

Ms Solheim said they’d been working closely with local police to help prevent further vandalism and to gain convictions wherever possible.

“The police have been very supportive, and we’re delighted that they have made arrests and convictions. But I’d urge the public to help us by reporting any suspicious activity they notice, and letting us know about any bikes they find that have been targeted by vandals.

“This is a fleet of bikes for the whole Cardiff community, and we need the community’s support to help catch those responsible. We’re determined not to let a small minority of people ruin it for the rest of the city,” she added.



One of the damaged bikes

Inspector Kevin Jones from South Wales Police said the behaviour would not be tolerated.

“Nextbikes are an excellent facility which since their introduction have allowed residents and visitors to Cardiff to explore the city in a convenient and environmentally-friendly manner,” he said.

“During lockdown they have given local residents the opportunity to exercise and carry out essential journeys in a convenient and environmentally-friendly manner.

“South Wales Police is fully supportive of the scheme and bikes are available to rent from outside some of our stations.

“The minority who steal or vandalise these bikes ruin the facility for others and we are committed to working with nextbike and the local authority to continue clamping down on this mindless behaviour,” he added.

Anyone seeing suspicious activity is being urged to report it to the police by calling 101.

People can report abandoned or damaged nextbikes by emailing info@nextbike.co.uk, tagging @nextbikeuk on social media, or using this form here.

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