April 17 2014 Latest news:
Friday, December 27, 2013
More than 4,600 bicycles have been stolen in Suffolk over the past three years - and only 11% of them have been recovered by police, new figures have revealed.
The numbers have led to calls for people to have their bikes security marked - especially as many would have received cycles as presents this Christmas.
The statistics, released by Suffolk police following a Freedom of Information request, show a total of 4,613 bikes were stolen over the last three years between 2010 and 2012.
But only 517 of them have been recovered by officers.
The worst borough in the county for bike thefts was Ipswich with 1,731 incidents, while the safest place was Mid Suffolk with only 228 thefts recorded.
The figures show that 114 bikes were recovered in Ipswich and 37 in Mid Suffolk.
Joseph Young, project co-ordinator for Cycle Suffolk, said: “I’ve been to several bike events recently where police have been present doing bike security marking so they are doing something to help the problem.
“If you have your bike marked and police find it, they can return it to you.
“Otherwise it will end up in a warehouse store gathering dust.
“As well as bike marking, cyclists need to have a robust lock and spent 10% of the bike’s value on the lock.
“Thieves are always going to find ways of stealing bikes but people can make it as difficult as possible.”
A Suffolk police spokesman said cycle theft is an opportunist crime which can happen in just a matter of seconds, making it difficult to prevent and detect.
He added: “Officers work to reduce the number of bike thefts through initiatives such as cycle marking days and operations that aim to identify and crackdown on those looking to steal bikes.
“Bikes are regularly recovered by police throughout the county and all attempts are made to reunite the property with its rightful owner, unfortunately if items are not marked this is not an easy task.”
People are encouraged to mark their bikes with a postcode either by engraving, etching or with an ultra-violet pen or by registering it via www.immobilise.com
The spokesman added: “We would also remind bike owners to follow simple crime reduction steps in order to help prevent them from becoming victims.
“It is pleasing to see that people appear to be doing exactly that as the number of bike thefts in the county decreased significantly in 2012 when compared to 2011.”
Although there were 4,613 crimes over the last three years, it is on the decrease with 1,302 incidents reported last year compared to 1,725 in 2011.