Operation Chainguard: Register Your Bike

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Bike registration scheme to help return stolen cycles.

Cyclists purchasing new bikes are being asked to register their details on a new database to help safeguard their property.

The move is one of a number of joint agency initiatives being lauched across Morecambe and Lancaster as part of Operation Chainguard, aimed at reducing bicycle thefts in the area and increasing the ability to return a stolen bike to its owner.

Shoppers purchasing bikes at participating cycle stores will asked to register their contact details, along with the manufacturer, model, colour and frame serial number of their new bicycle. This information will be stored on a centralised secure database, which can be accessed by police officers should the bike be stolen.

Current figures show that around one bike is stolen every day in Northern Division, which covers Lancaster, Morecambe and Wyre.

PC Ben Hanley, Morecambe Police said ‘Bicycle theft is not a unique problem to the area and happens across the country. However, Lancaster and Morecambe are popular places for cyclists to get above by bike, both for commuting and for pleasure, so the theft of a cycle can be a real inconvenience for the owner. Unfortunately the main identifying characteristic ‘the bike’s serial number’ is rarely recored or stored where police can access to it. This means our ability to recover a stolen bicycle and return it to its rightful owner, is greatly reduced’.

Rachel Scott, Lancaster Council Cycling Project Co-ordinator added ‘Operation Chainguard will see a joint approach to tackling bike crime in the Lancaster and Morecambe area. The introduction of this DVLA-style registration database will greatly increase the chances of any recovered, stolen bikes being returned to their rightful owner’.

Local bicycle shops have pledged their commitment to Operation Chainguard and arrangements are being made for roadshow-style events to take place across the area. So far, signed up partners include Destination Cycles, The Edge, Oggy’s Cycles, Dynostart, Halfords, Leisure Lakes, Bay Bikes, Motormania with others to follow.

Operation Chainguard will also see a number of other measures being introduced to help reduce the number of bicycle thefts. However, cyclists can also take a number of preventative steps to help stop them becoming the victim of crime.

  • Bicycles should be locked away in garges or sheds when not in use and if this is not possible then use a good quality lock and chain to secure the bike to something sturdy.
  • It’s even better if you can use two locks on your bike and wrap them through the frame rather than the wheels as these can be removed by thieves.
  • If you are out and about on your bike, always lock it up when you need to leave it, even if you are just nipping into a shop for a few minutes.
  • If you must leave your bike in a secluded area for any lenght of time, consider removing your seat and taking it with you, a bike without seat is uncomfortable prospect for a thief.
  • Don’t put off noting down your bikedetails it could be the information police need to reunite both cycle and owner. Distinctive marks, custom parts and additional graphics all help to identify specfic cycles if stolen.

If you’ve alraedy got a bike then you can still register it. Just fill in your details at www.celebratingcycling.org/bikereg and we will pass them onto the Police.

The above is e-mail from Celebrating Cycling, what do you think about Operational Chainguard is good ideal or bad ideal lets hear some comments from you!

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