A HARD-HITTING scheme that is fighting back against the ongoing problem of bike theft in Edinburgh has won a Secured By Design (SBD) award.
The initiative received the prestigious SBD award for tackling theft of pedal cycles across the City of Edinburgh policing division by using an SBD approved product (bikeregister) from an SBD approved company (Selectamark).
Selectamark’s bikeregister system allows any bike to be easily marked with a unique ID code and placed on a police-approved online database (http://www.bikeregister.com).
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 simple to use, it literally takes 30 seconds to mark a bike.
Edinburgh-based Crime Prevention Officer PC Bert Wilson developed the Partnership scheme (which also involves the City of Edinburgh Council),together with his colleagues PC Carlyn Simpson, PC Fiona Blenkiron, PC Graeme Buchan, PC Andy Whitlie, and PC Clare Smith.
PC Wilson said: “We started planning this scheme last year when all the Neighbourhood Crime Prevention Officers were collectively looking at the citywide problem of bike theft.
“We decided to use bikeregister, the Selectamark SBD approved product for marking bikes together with its national database bikeregister.com. We have started by marking bikes at the local university and the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.”
According to online insurance company, OnlyInsurance.com, Edinburgh’s worst area for bike thefts is so bad that four bikes are stolen daily. The Southside/Newington area is at the top of the list with 225 bikes reported stolen in the last 12 months.
Top-of-the-range mountain bikes (worth more than £500) and ‘new-looking’ bikes are popular with thieves, who then sell them on for profit. It is suspected that many bikes are taken by organised gangs who particularly target areas such as Marchmont with high levels of bicycle ownership.
In addition to the theft of complete bikes it is common for saddles and wheels to be stolen, usually because they are only held on with ‘quick-release’ mechanisms.
PC Carlyn Simpson, a crime prevention officer from one of Edinburgh’s six Police divisions, said: “We carry out theft analysis to identify hotspots, and resources and patrols can be directed into that area to tackle the problem.
“Bikes are often recovered by officers stopping someone riding one. The rider may be the wrong size for the bike or they might be pulled over because they aren't wearing a safety helmet. Other bikes are recovered after being abandoned. Bikes are stolen, like cars, before being dumped.”
PC Wilson concluded: “As the scheme continues, I anticipate that we will be targeting more places like schools and possibly independent bike retailers at point of sale so as the bikes are marked up and registered when passed to the customer.
“This is an ongoing scheme and everybody we have dealt with has given it praise.”
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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