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A Norwich bike marking scheme has reduced the number of bicycles being stolen in the city by 80 per cent isiden two weeks.
Between November 1 and 18 November 2012, some 30 bikes were stolen in Norwich city centre. The same period in December saw the number of thefts reduced to six. Norfolk Police’s Tactical Crime Unit officers have been targeting known offenders and cycle theft hotspots and made a number of arrests.
Detective Sergeant Robin Windsor Waite said: “Cyclists come into the city to work, shop and study and it’s important that their bikes are safe while they’re here. Operation Fusion is a response to the rise in the numbers of pedal cycles being stolen from parking areas within the city centre over the last few months.”
Officers from the Norwich East Safer Neighbourhood Team have also been marking bikes and registering them on national database BikeRegister.com. If a marked bike is stolen and later recovered it can be traced back to its original owner. Sergeant Keith Philpot said: “BikeRegister provides the latest technology in cycle marking. People may recall marking used to involve steel stamps with postcodes being hammered to bikes. Technology has moved on and we can now mark bikes using a resin compound which makes a permanent unique registration number for your bike. Combined with the online registration system, it provides police officers with an instant online database of registered cycles across the UK and can act as a strong deterrent to thieves.”
Operation Fusion has already resulted in one man being charged and several others on police bail while officers continue investigations. Bikes worth thousands of pounds have been recovered from addresses in the city and returned to owners.
DS Windsor Waite added: “Criminals have been targeting high quality bikes, many of which are worth several hundred pounds. The loss of such a bike can have a serious impact on the victim. The total value of the bikes stolen in November was in excess of £10,000. It’s apparent that some bike locks are not fit for purpose and provide little security. Criminals will exploit the opportunity to steal an expensive bike secured with a cheap lock, and a good quality lock is a good investment. Keeping a record of the frame number and taking some photos of your bike will dramatically increase the likelihood of it being returned if it is stolen.” Visit also www.selectamark.co.uk.