One Dublin city councillor has said the theft of his ebike from a bike rack outside City Hall is part of a far bigger issue.
Labour councillor, and former Dublin Lord Mayor, Dermot Lacey said he came out of a council meeting on Monday night to find his ebike stolen.
"I really hate thieves. I had worked hard to pay for it..and if caught some Judge will probably scold them at best. Sick of it", he tweeted.
came out of @DubCityCouncil meeting tonight and some ......... had stolen my ebike. I really hate thieves. I had worked hard to pay for it..and if caught some Judge will probably scold them at best. sick of it.
— Cllr Dermot Lacey (@LaceyDermot) October 3, 2022
Councillor Lacey told The Hard Shoulder what happened.
"I came out of the city council meeting at about 9.40 to go on my late-night travel home on my bike, I discovered my bike was no longer there.
"Speaking with a tourist who was there, in very broken English, who said to me that several bikes had been stolen from the bike racks outside City Hall.
"Needless to say I wasn't in great humour."
'Well lit up' area
He said the area where it was taken is very busy.
"It's nearly directly opposite the Olympia Theatre, it's very well lit up beside City Hall.
"There's a lot of people moving around the area.
"The Guards told me last night when I reported it that they think there is CCTV there - but my own guess, to be honest with you, is that whoever stole the bike will be well covered up [and] indistinguishable from the next person.
'Hopes are fairly dashed'
He said he thinks his bike is gone for good.
"Sadly the bike, probably along with the others, is in some container somewhere already travelling outside the country.
"I'd love to get it back, but my hopes would be fairly dashed to be honest with you."
Not the first time
However this was not the first time this happened.
"I had an e-bike stolen from the other side of City Hall about 15 years ago.
"I suppose in those days the ebike had a certain attraction because they were very new... I was one of the first people to have an ebike in Ireland.
"They're now much more common and I thought the bike was perfectly safe, there was a good lock on it.
"I'm just annoyed that it happened".
'I'm very lucky'
But he said there are others who are in a much worse situation.
"A thought struck me this morning: I'm very lucky in some ways.
"I'm older, and my bike was insured and hopefully I'll get at least some of the cost of it back.
"But can you imagine if you're a young, say, perhaps apprentice, commis chef or commis waiter... and you're living in an apartment way outside the city... your bike is your only way into work.
"That opportunity to go to work for that young worker has been stolen from them, not just a bike.
"So these sort of things have a much more profound impact than I think people understand".
Dealing with low-level crime
And Councillor Lacey said low-level crimes such as this need to be dealt with, before they become bigger.
"I think we need to find a way to seriously tackle low-level crime.
"If young people feel that the court system is a joke, and I think a lot of people do, they get told off but no real penalty.
"They will come to have less and less respect for the courts [and] that leads them into higher level crime, and that's what really bad for society".
He added: "This is a far, far bigger issue: the €11 billion budget last week for example gave 1.5% of an increase to voluntary youth work.
"So there's lots of areas in this debate... we need to support people who work with young people, who bring young people forward, who give young people a break.
"But nevertheless, as a human being, I'm annoyed that my bike was stolen last night".