Police launch bike theft awareness campaign
Northumbria Police have launched an operation codenamed “Delta”, with aim to prevent bike thefts in Jesmond and Heaton.
The campaign intends to stop bike thieves, while also providing prevention advice to bike owners in both areas.
Extra patrols, by both uniformed and plain clothes officers, are being carried out on the days and times identified with having high levels of bike theft offences. Potential suspects will be stopped and spoken to.
Officers are also using bikes to patrol the area to allow easier travel between the locations affected.
Cyclists are to be advised on crime prevention and any bikes left insecure will be specifically tagged with a plastic packet containing a crime prevention leaflet. The distribution of crime prevention leaflets will also take place along streets where bike theft is a frequent occurrence.
One bike theft victim, Peter, aged 27 from the Jesmond area said: “My bike was stolen between 3am and 8 am on the 29th of November. The bike was a Giant Freerider Lite bought in the Netherlands and is a rare kind to find in the United Kingdom.”
“The police have taken the serial number of the bike and the police are aware of its theft. In the Netherlands bike theft is common and I never really used it there due to the potential threat of it getting stolen. Ironically this has happened in a place which I thought was safe.”
One specific aim of the campaign is to promote the use of a sturdy bike lock – a D-lock. D-locks are widely regarded as the most effective locks as they are difficult to break, and it is advised to use more than one lock on a bike when securing it.
Neighbourhood Inspector Louise Cass-Williams said: “We’ve been running an operation to ensure cyclists have the relevant security information to prevent further offences and to identify suspects and make arrests.
“It is vital bike owners make sure their property is secured. This includes locking it to an immovable object, even if leaving it for a few seconds, and using a D-lock rather than a chain.
“Bikes are often stolen from people’s gardens and sheds, so when it’s unattended around their own property people should still lock it, even when it’s inside the shed or garage.
“Unfortunately opportunist thieves will take advantage if they see a bike insecure and unattended. It is important people follow advice to keep their property safe.
“Although it may seem quite a low level offence, some of these bikes are very expensive and any theft is a crime. This operation will continue to target those responsible and have them dealt with appropriately.”
Peter has offered a reward of £50 for anyone with any information which would lead to the safe recovery of the bike. Anyone with information can contact David Harrison on 07595695775.