'bikes are top of our list, innit'

Why were bikes targeted by looters?

What a month. Could the comment I wrote discussing shop security, just weeks before the riots, have been anymore apt given the coming storm?

Having spoken to victims of looting and violence this month, I’ve heard first hand some incredible tales, very few with any trace of a silver lining, which has perhaps been solely provided by London’s Mosquito Bikes. The mechanic of this Islington independent held a group of balaclava-clad youths at bay, preventing their entry, until predictably they simply got bored and moved on to continue on a path of mindless destruction.

A quote sourced from that very mechanic stands out in my mind and I can’t fathom what to make of it. The overheard words uttered by a hooded youth were “bikes are top of our list, innit”.

Why bikes? Why not the latest Playstation, or iPhone? Without wanting to become bogged down in the hows and whys surrounding the unrest, it does seem that the youth involved would rather have something pro-active to do. As inexcusable as the actions of those involved are, I suppose I’m wading into the debate with the ‘boredom’ excuse. Give them a bike, cut the hours sat in front of the TV and we’d be on the right track, surely?

What purpose each would use said stolen bike for is another issue altogether and being not too far above the average age of the troublemakers myself, I’m not naive enough to think obtaining a new form of transport would reform troubled young minds into outstanding contributors to society. It does however paint an interesting picture of what those opportunistic types would be doing were they able to afford certain luxuries. Not the scenes of anarchy many would predict, I’d imagine.

What to do if your store suffered

With thanks to the ACT and Butterworth Spengler, a series of articles relating to how to claim against riot damage and insurance guidelines were published on BikeBiz.com during August.

Further to these, BikeBiz can reveal that the timescale for lodging claims under the Riot Damages Act 1886 has been extended from 14 to 42 days. Among information and guidelines, you’ll find a downloadable claims forms issued by the Association of British Insurers’ website at www.abi.org.uk/information.

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