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Thursday, 27 November 2014

Free cycle marking drive follows a spate of thefts

SCORES of cycles worth more than £27,000 have been stolen since August.

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FRAME WORK: Barrow Police were security marking bicycles at Furness College this week. Pictured is PCSO Sam Thomas, left, with PCSO Louise Nichols applying one of the security warning labels to student Jack Townsend’s bike JON GRANGER REF: 50041021B000

More than 70 bikes in Barrow alone have been stolen in the past three months, prompting police to arrange a series of cycle marking events in a bid to deter thieves.

Under the free scheme cyclists can get the frame of their bike marked with a special UV marker, allowing the bike to be easily identified should it be stolen.

Police have organised a week of cycle marking events in a bid to help cyclists protect their property.

Furness College opened its doors to PCSOs to hold the event and dozens of students had their bikes marked.

PCSO Sam Thomas organised the event.

She said: “Bike theft is one of the biggest problems we have in Barrow.

“On average, we will get one stolen a day.

“We do have a database of stolen bikes but this will help trace the bike if we recover it.”

A special label is put on the bikes and the code is registered in a central database. A UV marker means even if the label is removed, the bike will still be identifiable when it’s scanned.

Unlike stamping the bikes, the treatment doesn’t damage frames and once bikes have been registered on the international database, this gives cyclists the best chance of being reunited with their bikes if they are stolen.

PCSO Thomas said: “This solution is safe to use on all frame types.

“This system acts as an excellent deterrent for would-be thieves and, of course, helps us to identify a stolen bike should we recover it.

“The best deterrent of all though is to invest and use a good quality bike lock and ensure that whenever possible leave your bike in an area that is covered by CCTV.”

Jack Townsend, 18, of Millom, took part.

He said: “It is just something to make it a bit harder for thieves.

“You spend a lot of money on a bike – if it gets stolen you might never get it back without having it marked.”

A session will take place in Furness College in Phoenix Road, Barrow, tomorrow from 8.30am to 1pm.

Bike marking is free and open to everyone.

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