POLICE TO LAUNCH CAMPAIGN TO TACKLE BIKE THIEVES
Police are to stage a series of public events in the city centre to encourage cyclists to take simple steps against theft.
Officers will urge riders to take basic security measures, such as investing in sturdy D-locks and leaving their bikes in secure locations. They will also demonstrate how some, cheaper cycle locks present no problems for thieves because they are so easily broken. The campaign is being launched as officers are tackling a series of cycle thefts in the city centre. Last month, city police reported that thieves were targeting the centre, with 33 cycles stolen in just two weeks. Officers are out and about hunting thieves, however they hope the awareness sessions, which will be staged at prominent spots such as the Clock Tower, will encourage cyclists to invest in better security.
Inspector Simon Preston, commander of city centre police, said: "We will be doing this work in the very near future at the Clock Tower and other high profile locations. It's an education exercise so we'll be showing people how to secure their cycles and how easy it is to break some of the cheaper locks."
In some recent cases, police said, the stolen bikes were "secured' with flimsy chains which could be snipped with a pair of garden secateurs.
Cyclist Roger Parry, 59, of Clarendon Park, said: "I had a bike stolen a couple of bikes a few years ago and the police advised me that a better lock might have prevented it. So, I always make sure I lock my bike properly and leave it in a busy area where anyone trying to take my D-lock off would stand out. A lot more people are cycling now and it's important we take all reasonable steps to protect our bikes. There will always be thefts because there's a big black market for stolen bikes."
Police also recommend people park their cycles in more secure areas, such as the Bike Park at Town Hall Square and Leicester railway station. The number of bike thefts in the city fluctuates month by month, but in the 2012/13 financial year the total was about 500, rising to 573 in 2013/14. The number is predicted to rise to 650 this year, Insp Preston said. Other police advice includes urging people to keep good-quality photographs of their bikes and to make a note of features, such as the frame, the saddle and gears. Valuables, including bikes, can also be registered on a free national database, which helps police return stolen goods to their owners and helps prosecute offenders.
Details from Leicester Mercury