Reader letter: Sympathy for bike thief?

PUBLISHED: 17:17 17 October 2018 | UPDATED: 17:52 17 October 2018

Video footage filmed by a passer-by shows Mr Laskey holding the thief down near The Bell Hotel on Farmers Avenue. Photo: Mark Perry

Video footage filmed by a passer-by shows Mr Laskey holding the thief down near The Bell Hotel on Farmers Avenue. Photo: Mark Perry


One reader reflects on an incident last week in which a man who is understood to have been attempting to steal a bike was apprehended. Do you agree with their thoughts?

Did anyone feel a twinge of sympathy for the thief who was robustly apprehended by a passer-by as he tried to steal a bicycle in the city centre? Me neither!

The article (EN, October 13) described the moment when a local drug abuser and serial offender was wrestled to the ground while attempting to nick a bicycle.

The chap who tackled him deserves a medal for stepping in before yet another piece of personal property becomes part of Norwich’s crime statistics.

According to the data at least 800 bicycles were stolen in the city in 2017 and although I’m pleased on this occasion that the owner retained his property I’m just wondering how many other thefts were never resolved and the owners end up claiming on insurance or just buying another one.

I’m also wondering how many of those 800 criminal acts resulted in either a return of the property and/or a criminal conviction? No doubt our Chief Constable can give us accurate data as to the ratio of prosecutions to crimes.

While the ‘low-lifes’ continue to lurk in the streets and squares of the city looking for easy pickings we shall all have to remain vigilant and watch our backs or be prepared to take the law into our own hands (if we have the nerve).

I’m hoping Simon Bailey will also have the nerve to stand up and praise Adam Lesley for his brave intervention but I’ll bet he doesn’t.

My guess is he’ll announce another crime initiative with a name like ‘Operation Shiny Buttons’ as part of an attempt to prove he’s tackling low level criminal activity in the county — 800 bike owners will attest to the need to do something to stop it happening and catch the culprits.

Do you agree with our reader? Let us know in the comments below or write to us at

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