POLICE are offering free bike marking and discounted locks as part of an operation to reduce the thefts in Hartlepool.
As part of Operation Tandem, cyclists will be stopped by neighbourhood officers who will use a special torch to check if bikes have been security marked with ultraviolet pen.
If the bike is not security marked, officers will then offer to mark the bike free of charge with the owner’s postcode.
Police have warned that people riding around on bikes that are believed to be stolen will also be stopped and the validity of the bike will be checked.
The torches and ultraviolet pens that the PCs and PCSOs will be using have been bought using a £200 grant from the North and Coastal and South and Central Joint Action Groups (JAGs).
Bikes sold from Halfords and Facchini Cycles will also be security marked ahead of Christmas.
Officers behind Operation Tandem hope the security marking will help towards solving the problem of not being able to trace the owners of stolen bikes once they have been recovered.
There are more than 30 bikes at Hartlepool Police Station that officers have recovered from thieves, with no immediate indications of who the owners are.
Members from Hartlepool Crime Prevention Panel are also helping to support officers by providing secure bike locks at half price.
PC Steve Davies, crime prevention officer, will be hosting two events where Gold Sold Secure Master Locks will be available for £18 and a D Lock with alarm function will be available for £10.
The events take place on Wednesday, November 28, at Hartlepool College of FE from noon- 1pm and Thursday, November 29 between 10.30am and 11.30am.
Officers are appealing for help to identify the owners of three suspected stolen bikes.
A white men’s Giant Talon mountain bike was recovered on November 9 from an address in Elliott Street, and a 22-year-old man and a 24-year-old man were arrested on suspicion of theft and are on bail.
A silver and blue Barracuda women’s mountain bike, was recovered on November 10 in Suggitt Street. A 60-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of theft and has been bailed.
A green Raleigh women’s mountain bike, recovered on November 10 in Scott Grove, Hartlepool, and a 33-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of theft and has been released on bail.
Anyone who has any information about the recovered bikes should contact Detective Constable Tom Legg on the non-emergency number 101.