Thames Valley Police is raising awareness of bicycle thefts in Bicester in the run up to Christmas.
From Monday (18/12) residents will see fluorescent coloured mountain bikes which draw attention to cycle theft hotspots within the town. The bikes, which have been painted by students from the Motorsport Department at Banbury and Bicester College, carry the message “We are watching you #TVP” to deter potential thieves.
Bicester has experienced a significant increase in bicycle thefts over the past year with 150 offences being reported between 13 December 2016 and 12 December 2017.
Sergeant Kerry O’Leary, from Bicester Police Station, said: “Following an increase in bicycle thefts in the area, these brightly coloured bikes will let potential thieves know that we take this type of crime very seriously.
“We also want to advise cyclists that they can reduce the risk of becoming a victim by taking a few simple steps.
“A good bike lock should be fitted, such as one with a Sold Secure rating. When out and about, it’s important to lock your bike, even if you’re only leaving it for a few minutes. It’s important to attach your bike to something secure. If you have removable items such as lights or quick release wheels, make sure you lock them up or take them with you.
“We recommend that bicycle frames are security-marked or etched. You can also register your bike with schemes such as Immobilise which help to return stolen bikes if they are recovered.
“Finally, when at home, make sure that your bike is stored in a secure garage or shed.”
Notes to editors:
There will be six bicycles placed at cycle theft hotspots around Bicester Town centre from Monday 18 December.
Immobilise is the world's largest free register of possession ownership details and provides an effective tool in helping to reduce crime and repatriate recovered personal property to its rightful owner. For more information visit www.immobilise.com.