Police plan Jesmond “sting” operations to halt spate of bike thefts and burglaries
There have been “multiple” bike thefts in Jesmond this week according to Northumbria police who say it is the work of opportunists and are warning bike owners to take extra precautions.
There has been a spate of bike thefts across Newcastle, and in particular the city centre – four people have already been arrested in connection with these incidents.
However, PC Tony Davis, who has been an officer in Jesmond for the last four years, told JesmondLocal that the Jesmond thefts are likely to have taken place because of area’s large student population. “People leave their bikes on view and unlocked in their backyards,” he said. “Most probably haven’t had an item stolen before, so just don’t think.”
PC Davis believes that Jesmond is also a target because students there often own expensive bikes and live in multi-occupancy houses – for the thieves it’s rich pickings. The recent thefts may also be linked to Christmas drawing closer and the darker nights are a factor too. He said bikes can be stolen and sold within a couple of hours.
Jesmond is no stranger to bike theft. On September 9th, two thieves scaled the wall of the Arriva bus depot on Portland Terrace, stealing two bikes, one of which was worth £1,500. The police are still appealing for witnesses to that incident. CCTV footage (see below) has been released by the police to encourage members of the public to come forward with any information which might lead to the arrest of the thieves. Anyone with information about the bus depot bike thefts should email email@example.com quoting log 1247 09/09/17.
However, burglaries remain the most common type of crime in Jesmond, with an average of one committed every week, according to PC Davis – although he explained that burglaries and thefts tend to come in peaks and troughs.
Grace Gibson, a Northumbria student, who lives on Cavendish Place, had her house broken into last Wednesday (November 15th). Her bag (right) containing a new Apple MacBook and her university work and bank cards were stolen. She has urged any witnesses to get in touch with her on Facebook or contact the police who are investigating the issue.
To combat the thefts, police in Jesmond will be distributing bike locks for residents along with information regarding bike security.
They also hope to set up bike theft and burglary “sting” operations – leaving a bike or house unlocked but under surveillance – to catch thieves and burglars.