‘It takes seconds to steal your bike. Don’t give thieves an easy ride’, is the message Leicestershire Police is giving to cyclists as part of a county wide campaign to tackle bike theft.
The first part of the campaign focuses on Leicester City Centre and it will then be rolled out across the county in the coming months.
In a bid to reduce the number of thefts in the city officers are holding an awareness event on Saturday 2 July from 10am until 3pm at Leicester’s Clock Tower.
Each year the city centre experiences a seasonal increase in the number of bike thefts. During June 2016 the city received 61 reports of bike theft, compared to 52 in May and 31 in April.
Cyclists will be able to pick up new crime prevention material and purchase D-locks for £10. Officers will be promoting Immobilise, the national online property register and encouraging cyclists to make use of the city bike park.
Sergeant Audrey Danvers, from Central Leicester Neighbourhood Policing Area, who is organising the event, said: “We tend to see an increase in the number of bike thefts during the summer months. This is partly due to the better weather, as more people cycle into the city. It is so important that cyclists take this opportunity to come and get advice from us, and learn how to prevent themselves from becoming a victim of bike theft.
“Bike theft in the city is a recurring problem for us. On average we receive two reports a day of bikes being stolen. By educating cyclists on how easy it is for bikes to be stolen and the importance of securely locking up their bikes with decent locks, we hope that we can decrease the number of thefts.”
Officers will also be encouraging cyclists to fill out a new bike passport, which is a record of your bike details that you keep safe and hand to the police in the unfortunate event that your bike is stolen.
Those who are unable to attend the event can purchase a D-lock from Mansfield House Police Station on Belgrave Gate for £10.
The second phase of the campaign will see florescent coloured bikes with new signage attached to them, locked in hotspot areas across the city centre. The bikes and signs are designed to stand out from the crowd to raise awareness that cycle thieves are in the area and that they are being watched.
Sergeant Danvers added: “We have used this tactic before in the city and have had positive results in reducing bike thefts. As part of us relaunching our bike theft crime prevention material our signs and bikes have had a revamp. They should really stand out and draw the attention of the cyclist, reminding them to secure their bike. They will also act as a warning to potential bike thieves making them stop and take notice that we do not tolerate bike theft.
“Our message is clear and simple; ‘It takes seconds to steal your bike. Don’t give thieves an easy ride.’”
Leicestershire Police are reminding cyclists to follow the below bike security advice:
- register your bike on a national property database such as immobilise.com
- mark frame with your postcode in two separate locations, one of which should be hidden
- download and fill in a bike passport (PDF)
- lock up your bike with a good quality lock such as a sold secure approved D-lock
- at home keep your bike in a locked shed or garage
- when out secure your bike to a fixed object or bike rack in a well-lit and busy area
- lock your bike through the frame and both wheels, or at least the back wheel
- remove detachable accessories such as lights, pumps, panniers and quick release saddles
- if your bike is stolen, call the police on 101, keep the crime reference number and inform your insurance company
For more bike security advice and information on local bike parks visit www.leics.police.uk/bikes or you can follow us on twitter #lockitorloseit .