Bike thefts in and around Doncaster town centre have been cut by a huge 85 per cent over the last three weeks, due to a high-profile police presence on main arterial routes.
During the first week of the operation, launched by the Doncaster Urban Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) on September 23, there were 14 offences of bike theft recorded.
This was reduced to 10 offences the following week, and just two for the week running from October 7 to October 13.
Temporary Inspector Carl Lindley said that the drive was launched following an increase in recorded crimes, during which “opportunist thieves” were “targeting bikes in and around the town centre, taking advantage of bikes left with little or no security measures.”
He added: “South Yorkshire Police and partner agencies have been working together with members of the public in a bid to raise awareness of bike thefts and encourage cyclists to secure and mark their property.
“We are encouraging them also to photograph their bikes and record details of them, such as the model or serial number, so that if they are stolen there is a far better chance they can be returned.”
Meanwhile, police are actively challenging individuals found in possession of bikes that they cannot reasonably account for. Some 58 bikes have already been taken into police possession.
T/Insp Lindley said: “South Yorkshire Police have completed a number of high visibility public engagement exercises along the main arterial routes in and around the town centre.
“Details of all recovered bikes are being provided to the public in the form of a portable display board in a bid to reunite property with owners.
“Advice and information regarding crime reduction measures are also being provided, with more than 200 cycle owners having been spoken to over the last few weeks.”
Such events are being held at the busiest locations in Doncaster town centre, including in and around the new civic and cultural quarter, the market areas, the interchange and The Hub college.
Cyclists are being urged to consider using free property-recording measures, such as registering their bikes online on websites including www.immobilise.com and www.bikeregister.com. Both of these websites are cross-searched by South Yorkshire Police following the recovery of property.
Anyone with any information on bike thefts in Doncaster should call South Yorkshire Police’s non-emergency number on 101.