BIKES belonging to commuters, students, shoppers and children in the Chichester area have been visibly marked with a permanent security marking as part of a successful scheme to prevent and deter cycle theft.
Following a spate of bike thefts from the city centre, Chichester Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (which includes Sussex Police and Chichester District Council) were looking for a solution to the problem, which had mainly involved opportunistic theft of bikes that had not been secured properly by their owners.
Having been impressed by a demonstration of Selectamark's bikeregister system, which showed how a bike could be easily marked and placed on a unique police-approved online database (http://www.bikeregister.com), Chichester CDRP decided to fund and introduce the scheme in January 2008. Since then cycle theft in the area has been REDUCED by an impressive 44%.
The Chichester bikeregister scheme began with a series of free marking events involving local residents and shoppers. This was then rolled out across the rest of the city and to Selby and Midhurst districts where marking events were held at cycle safety groups, personal safety workshops, youth clubs, and local leisure centres. Over 1,000 bikes have been marked so far, with plans to extend the scheme to include the local college.
One popular event was a 'Bikers' Breakfast' where 100 commuters had their bikes permanently marked by members of the Chichester CDRP before they parked and secured them at the train station to travel to work. As part of the scheme, each bike owner was issued with their own personal logbook as proof of ownership.
Pam Bushby, Senior Community Safety Officer, Chichester District Council, said: "The introduction of bikeregister in the Chichester area has been a great success. Many bike owners have found it hugely reassuring that their bikes are now marked with a unique ID code and placed on a secure register. Should the bike ever be stolen and then recovered by police, it is extremely likely it can be traced back to the owner. The bike marking kits are so simple to use, it literally takes 30 seconds to mark a bike. Every cyclist has time to do that, rather than risk their bike disappearing forever."
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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