UP TO 3,000 bikes belonging to young children, commuters and rural community members are being security marked using Selectamark’s bikeregister system to prevent and deter cycle theft in County Durham.
The Safe Durham Partnership (which includes Durham Council, local police, fire and probation services and the Primary Care Trust) is funding the new Pedal Safe campaign, which will involve the bikes being marked with a unique ID code to prove ownership and placed on the national bikeregister database (http://www.bikeregister.com).
As well as the bike marking kits, the Partnership are also distributing free bike lights to cyclists to make sure they can be seen more easily.
According to Diane Maughan from Durham Council, there has been a problem with a spate of bike thefts across the county, mainly in the more rural parts of the area.
Similar campaigns using the bikeregister system have been launched throughout the UK and have resulted in impressive cycle theft reduction figures.
The new Pedal Safe scheme is starting with a series of marking and safety instruction events at youth groups, community centres, and local schools in rural areas. This will then be rolled out across the rest of the county where events are to be held at cycle safety groups, local leisure centres and train stations.
As part of the scheme, each bike owner is issued with their own personal logbook as proof of ownership and is registered on a police-approved national database. If a bike is stolen and then recovered, police can check the marking and log onto the database to quickly verify the true owner and reunite them with their bike.
Planned events include a 'Bikers' Breakfast' where commuters will be aided by members of the Safe Durham Partnership to have their bikes permanently marked before they park and secure them at the train station to travel to work.
Diane Maughan said: "We have every confidence that the introduction of Pedal Safe in County Durham will help keep our cyclists safe by increasing their road sense, as well as having the added bonus of significantly reducing the problem of bike theft.”
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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