Colse Leungstories

The Men Returning Stolen Bikes to their Owners

Colse Leungstories
The Men Returning Stolen Bikes to their Owners

A city famed for its love of bikes, Bristol is unfortunately a hot-bed for thieves of two-wheelers as well. However, a recent BBC3 documentary shone a light on two men from south Bristol who are trying to change this, recovering stolen motorbikes in their spare time.

Martin and Dom run a Facebook group, Stolen Motorcycle Recovery Bristol, and find stolen bike, returning them to their owner and won a Bristol Post Gold Star Award in 2018 for their work.

With Avon and Somerset Police reporting an 80 per cent increase in scooter, moped and motorcycle theft between 2015 and 2016, Martin and Dom say there are several reasons why they continue to recover stolen bikes in their spare time, but it’s mostly because they’re motorcyclists who had seeing fellow bikers without their bike. Martin says: “It’s a really good feeling to see them reunited with their bike because it’s their lifeline.”

Dom and Martin were featured in a recent BBC3 short film

They now work with local police, but didn’t initially, with Dom saying: “We didn’t even contact them because we didn’t know if we would get arrested for it for handing in stolen goods.

“But it developed, it was set out – the legalities of things and how we could stop ourselves getting in trouble.”

Looking to the future, Martins says: “We’d love to do some sort of community project with the younger generation. They’ve clearly got an interest in bikes, otherwise they wouldn’t be out pinching them.”

However, increasing government cuts means that youth services and funding to start projects are severely limited. “We live in south Bristol,” says Dom. “There’s no community centre around there for kids so they’ve got nowhere to go and nothing to do.”

The two men highlight that the government needs to put more money into youth centres and youth projects to give young people skills for life. “We want to influence people to get up, get off their backside and do something, make a difference,” says Dom.