Police, armed forces and round the clock patrols brought in by Sheffield's yellow bike scheme in bid to deter vandals

Police are being brought in to tackle vandalism to Sheffield's yellow bikes.
Police are being brought in to tackle vandalism to Sheffield's yellow bikes.
0
Have your say

Sheffield's yellow back scheme is bringing in police, ex-armed forces and a 24/7 'rapid reponse' team after levels of vandalism 'far above' other cities.

Dockless bike scheme Ofo has been plagued by a string of vandal attacks with bikes being smashed to pieces, dumped in canals and rivers and stolen since the project started earlier this year.

READ MORE: Sheffield's bike graveyard - five yellow bikes found trashed in same spot

Now fed-up bosses are determined to clamp down on the yobs after the spate of attacks which are said to be 'far above' levels in other cities where the scheme operates, bringing in a round the clock 'rapid response team,' police and ex-Armed Forces offices to halt the destruction.

Joseph Seal-Driver, Ofo’s general manager, said: “We brought Ofo to Sheffield to give people a fun, enjoyable and cheap way to get around the city.

"We’re disappointed that vandals are choosing to spoil it for everyone else.

"Our Rapid Response Team will be able to stamp out crime and we will be involving the police when we have evidence."

READ MORE: Dockless bike scheme launches in Sheffield
The scheme also operates across London, Oxford, Cambridge, Norwich and Leeds - but since its January launch, dozens of bikes have been trashed in Sheffield with rates of destruction the worst in the UK.

The team will work around the clock in Sheffield to stamp out vandalism against bikes in the city, patrolling streets throughout the day and night to prevent damage being done to the bikes - and Ofo’s team will include former members of the armed forces.

Stuart Walne, Neighbourhoods Chief Inspector at South Yorkshire Police, said: “We won’t tolerate crime and vandalism in Sheffield and will do all we can to bring prosecutions.

"Ofo’s new Rapid Response Team will be passing evidence to us and we’ll be acting on it and working closely with the company.”

READ MORE: Sheffield yellow bike spotted 23 miles away in Doncaster
“I urge anyone who sees a distinctive yellow ofo bike being vandalised to call 0808 1017141 and the team will be on hand quickly to help.”

Users hire the bikes through a smartphone app and the cycles can be picked up and dropped off anywhere that bike parking is allowed across the city.