Police are aiming to unsaddle bike thieves with the launch of a new operation this week in Aberdeen.
Operation Lathe will run for the month of June and will look to prevent, deter and detect bike thefts.
Sergeant David Cowie, who is leading the operation, said: “From the start of January to the start of May, 142 bicycles were reported stolen in Aberdeen which averages out at around eight bikes per week.
“The cost of a typical bike can range from a couple of hundred pounds up to several thousands of pounds. So, at least a few thousand pounds worth of bikes are stolen every week.
“This can’t be allowed to continue so this operation has been instigated to highlight the importance of bike security and to proactively target those who are committing these thefts.
“Obviously when the weather is better more people use their bikes or go and purchase new ones to use so it’s a good time of year to run the initiative.
“A number of bikes are stolen because they are left insecure so a big area of work will be to educate bike owners directly and also by visiting local bike shops in the city to ask them to promote bike security to their customers.”
The operation will involve both high visibility patrols and more covert tactics to disrupt bike theft.
Sergeant Cowie added: “Bike security, as with any property, is really simple. There is a vast range of bike locks and security products available from specialist bike shops and other retailers.
“We would always advise bike owners to lock and tether their bikes to fixed items whenever they leave their bikes unattended.
“Bikes are often also taken from communal hallways and so bike security is just as important when stored inside buildings.
“Photographing your bike and recording all of your bike’s details and distinguishing features including the serial number can be extremely useful in the event that a bike is stolen.
“I would also encourage bike owners to register their bicycle on the National Cycle Database, www.bikeregister.com
“Security mark your bike’s frame with a UV pen or other method with your details is also worth doing.
“From our patrols we found some bikes secured well but many not secured at all. If you physically had hundreds or thousands of pounds in your hand, would you leave it on the pavement and walk away and leave it? The same analogy applies to bikes and other property. Always lock away or securely lock your bike to avoid it being stolen.
“I would also ask the public for their assistance by calling the police when they see something that doesn’t look quite right.”