British Transport Police officers held cycle surgeries at railway stations across East Sussex in a bid to tackle bike thefts in the area.
An increasing number of bikes are being damaged or stolen at sheds, schools, streets and stations across the county.
In 2013/14, 4,490 bikes were either stolen from or damaged at railway stations in the South East – an increase of 102 on the previous year.
The BTP is working hard to tackle bicycle thefts and as part of their efforts, officers frequented train stations throughout the area on Tuesday, December 9 to host cycle surgeries, handing out leaflets and crime prevention advice to commuters, as well as offering security-marking for their bikes. Superintendent Jason Bunyard, oversees Operation Wiggins, said, “Over the past few years, we have seen an increase in passengers using bikes to travel to and from railway stations.
“Following continued investment in cycle racks and spaces for bikes on trains, events such as the Tour de France, and with people being more conscious of the environment and their health, there has been a huge surge in their popularity.
“Unfortunately, this has also provided increased opportunities for thieves due to bikes being relatively easy to steal and dispose of bikes sadly remain an attractive target for thieves.
“More bikes stolen will lead to in an increase in insurance claims resulting in higher premiums for everyone.”
The majority of the 5,318 bikes stolen from the railway network in 2013/14 weren’t secured correctly, or had sub-standard locks.
Superintendent Bunyard added, “Thieves need to operate quickly to reduce their chances of being caught; having a heavy duty lock makes their job much more difficult and they are more likely to abandon any attempt to steal your bike.
“Its quite surprising that someone would spend over £1,000 on a bike then use a £5 lock to secure it. We would always recommend spending at least 10 per cent of the value of the bike on an appropriate lock
“Don’t be tempted in purchasing a bargain bike online, from someone on the street or down the pub, with no questions asked. You could be prosecuted for handling stolen goods and will be landed with a criminal record. Always insist on a proof of ownership and check the bike frame number on Bikeregister.com.”
Visit www.bikeregister.com for more tips on how to keep your bike safe this winter.