Staring Eyes Experiment

24 April 2013, 10:17

Pictures of staring eyes are going to be put above cycle racks at Fenchurch Street Station in a bid to reduce bike thefts.

The trial scheme is being run by the British Transport Police.

It comes after a two-year experiment at Newcastle University where pictures were put above bike sheds and racks on its campus. It found there were 62% fewer thefts compared with the previous year, while those without eyes saw thefts increase by 63%.

Professor Nettle from Newcastle University said: "We don't know exactly what is happening here but this just adds to the growing evidence that images of eyes can have a big impact on behaviour.

"We think that the presence of eye images can encourage co-operative behaviour. One strong possibility is that the images of eyes work by making people feel watched.

"We care what other people think about us, and as a result we behave better when we feel we are being observed.''