Thieves steal bikes worth £175,000

A new project aims to reduce bike thefts. Below, Coun John Jones
A new project aims to reduce bike thefts. Below, Coun John Jones
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A new project has been launched to reduce the number of bike thefts after bicycles worth £175,000 were stolen in Blackpool in just one year.

Blackpool Council and police officers have launched Operation Impression after figures revealed more than 500 bicycles were stolen from resort streets, with an approximate value of £143,000, between November 2013 and November last year.

Coun John Jones

Coun John Jones

A further £32,000 worth of bikes were taken from sheds and garages.

Operation Impression has already seen officers carry out a bike coding and information event in the town centre and further events are planned during the year.

Coun John Jones, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “You only need to look at the figures on the volume of thefts to see that bike coding is worth doing.

“Operation Impression will help to make a permanent impression on bikes and, we hope, on the mindset of both bike owners and criminals.

“The more cyclists take action to protect their bikes en masse; the greater the deterrent is to those who could be tempted to steal them.”

The bike coding events will take place on February 18 between 11 am until 2pm at Palatine Leisure Centre, South Shore; between 3pm until 6pm on February 18 at DW Fitness, Vicarage Lane, Marton; between 11am and 2pm on February 21 at St. John’s Square, Blackpool; from 11am to 2pm on February 24 at Moor Park Sports Centre in Bispham and between 11am and 2pm on March 14 at Claremont Community Police Office.

During the events, bikes will be etched with a permanent and visible mark on the frame which cannot be removed. The bike is then logged on the “Bike Register” website.

If a bike is stolen and later recovered, it can be looked up on the register,to return it to its rightful owner.

Victim praises bike coding scheme

A Bispham cyclist, who had two bikes stolen in the same week, today encouraged residents to get their bikes coded.

Tom Green, 22, of Cavendish Road, Bispham, had his £50 bike stolen while he was at work at the Last Orders pub in North Shore in July last year. He then borrowed a £650 bike from his friend which was stolen from outside the Blackpool Council offices in the town centre the same week.

He said: “I think it is worth getting your bikes coded as it could be a way of getting them back.”

“When you have two bikes stolen in one week it puts you in a bad place.

“It affects you. I had to pay the £400 insurance excess for my friend’s bike.”