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Coronavirus (COVID-19): the policing response and what you need to know

Avon and Somerset Police aim to put the brakes on bicycle thefts with free bike marking events

Avon and Somerset Police are launching a campaign to reduce the number of bicycle thefts. Working in partnership with BikeRegister, this weekend marks the first of a number of bike marking and burglary prevention events across Avon and Somerset in 2020.

Officers will be on hand to help bicycle owners register their bikes on the BikeRegister database and discreetly security mark their bikes. The BikeRegister database is used by every police force in the UK and enables officers to quickly and easily identify the original owner of any stolen or recovered bicycles.

Officers will be at Banwell Children’s Centre between 10am and 1pm on Saturday (25 January) and at Sainsbury’s in Worle between 9am and 3pm on Sunday (26 January).

People who have their bike marked will also be given an exclusive discount voucher to purchase an approved D-lock.

Bicycle thefts account for 2% of all police recorded crime across England and Wales, and 50% of all bicycle owners have had a bike stolen.

Avon and Somerset Police first started the bike marking security scheme last year and have significantly grown its operation force-wide. With over 4,000 bikes marked in the past year, Avon and Somerset Police is the most proactive police force in the country using the BikeRegister scheme.

Since the start of the BikeRegister scheme, there have been a number of recovered bikes being returned to their original owners. Just last week, a Red Specialized Allez road bike was returned to its original owner in Bristol.

These bike marking events are being supported by Operation Remedy as just one of a number of proactive initiatives being rolled out across Avon and Somerset to tackle residential burglary.

PC Peter Rooke commented: “We are proud to be the leading police force in the country using the BikeRegister scheme and are really pleased to be expanding our efforts across Avon and Somerset. The initiative is available to anyone who owns a bike and is completely free of charge.

“We are looking forward to also working with local cycling clubs and bike parks in order to meet with as many bicycle owners as possible.

“The scheme has proven to be extremely successful and has been key in deterring thieves from stealing bicycles. We encourage any bike owners to come along and get their bikes registered and talk to us about how they can keep their bikes safe.”

The following bike marking events have been confirmed with further events planned across Avon and Somerset in the coming months.

  • Thursday 30 January – Worle Community School, Worle, 9am-12pm
  • Wednesday 19 February – Healthy Living Centre, Bournville, Weston Super-Mare, 9am-3pm.

While Avon and Somerset Police continues to work hard to target bicycle thieves and reduce offences, everyone has a part to play in keeping their bicycles safe. This can be achieved by following the latest crime prevention advice:

  • When attempting to sell your bicycles online, never share your bank details, address or movements, particularly if you are away from home or on holiday for a considerable period of time.
  • When arranging to meet with a prospective buyer meet in a neutral location, ideally a car park with CCTV or a public location where others are present.
  • Where possible, securely store your bicycles in your home.
  • If this isn’t possible, ensure they are kept in a secure outbuilding such as an alarmed and locked shed or garage.
  • Always lock your bicycles to something immovable like a wall, the floor or a railing.
  • Double lock your bikes using two quality locks, at least one of which is a D-Lock.
  • Get your bikes security marked and registered at BikeRegister and Immobilise.
  • Record the details of your bicycles including noting the frame number (normally found underneath the bike between the pedals or where the back wheel slots in), the BikeRegister number plus any other distinguishing features, and take a photo.