Political party D66 Maastricht is worried
Political party D66 Maastricht is worried about the number of bicycle thefts in the city. “It’s a gut feeling,” says fraction chairman Bert Jongen, “but among my friends three people have had their bicycles stolen in broad daylight in the past three weeks. It was the same MO each time: two guys pull up on a moped, one destroys the lock with a cutter and lifts the bicycle onto his shoulder.” The party has submitted written questions to the Municipal Executive. “We want to know whether the number of incidents has increased. And if so, what are we going to do against this form of petty crime?”
Student liaison officer Paul Vermin acknowledges the problem: “A huge number of bicycles are being stolen, but I wouldn’t say that it has increased excessively.” Students are no exception, they fall victim too. Several times already, Vermin’s attention has been drawn to bicycle thefts near the School of Business and Economics. “From the bicycle racks on the Tongersestraat, but also on the parking lot, in front of the main entrance itself.” He cannot give any figures for the number of thefts. Gido Boere, location manager at SBE: “Bicycles are definitely being stolen at our faculties, but I couldn’t say how many. We have heard of cases in which one was stolen at the Bouillonstraat only to be offered for sale at the gate of SBE.” CCTV cameras have been installed on the premises of Tongersestraat 53 - “if we see any suspicious-looking individuals hanging around, we go and take a look.” A new bicycle parking facility for staff is being created at the back of Tongersestraat 49, which will only be accessible with a UM Card.
Bicycle theft is one of the police policy spearheads, says Paul Vermin. “We try to map out the group of offenders.” He wouldn’t go as far as to use the term 'organised crime', but he confirms that there are groups that specialise in bicycle theft.