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REVEALED: Scale of bike thefts from railway stations in Suffolk and Essex

Ipswich Railway Station Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich Railway Station Picture: ARCHANT

British Transport Police are urging cyclists to lock up their bikes as new figures reveal the scale of cycle thefts at railway stations in Suffolk and north Essex.

Colchester railway station Picture: NATALIE SADLERColchester railway station Picture: NATALIE SADLER

A total of 3,339 bikes were stolen from 117 train stations over the three-year period in the east of England with Ipswich Stowmarket, Bury St Edmunds, Colchester, Wivenhoe and Manningtree stations seeing a rise in the number of thefts.

Ipswich railway station saw an 82% rise in thefts last year, from 17 in 2017/18 to 31 last year while Stowmarket and Bury St Edmunds stations each saw the number of thefts rise from two in 2017/18 to eight last year.

In Essex, Colchester railway station has seen a rise, from 13 in 2016/17 to 22 in 2017/18 and 24 last year while Manningtree station went up from two in 2017/18 to five last year.

However, some stations have seen a decrease in thefts - such as Chelmsford, Kelvedon, Hatfield Peverel, Hythe, Lowestoft and Newmarket.

Bury St Edmunds Railway Station Picture: GOOGLEMAPSBury St Edmunds Railway Station Picture: GOOGLEMAPS

The figures come from the British Transport Police, the office of Rail and Road and Transport for London and were collated by the BBC's Local News Partnership team.

A spokesman for the British Transport Police said: "Unfortunately, bicycles remain a popular target for opportunistic thieves and British Transport Police works closely with train operating companies to improve security at cycle storage facilities throughout England, Scotland and Wales.

"To help prevent crime, we urge cyclists to invest in good quality D-locks and ensure their bikes are securely marked and registered at www.bikeregister.com."

A Greater Anglia spokesperson said: "We are committed to providing secure, free cycle parking across our network.

"Although the number of cycle thefts is very low when compared to the number of people who use the stations on a daily basis, we would remind customers to always secure their bike with a good quality lock and to use the cycle facilities provided."

A spokesman for Suffolk police added: "We carry out regular patrols in busy town centres and are constantly on the look-out for bike thieves but we also need cyclists to be security conscious.

"It is easy to forget than some bikes can be worth several hundred pounds and would cost a lot to replace.

"With this in mind it's worth investing in a decent lock. It makes no sense securing a bike worth £200-£300 with a cheap lock.

"It's recommended that you spend at least 10 percent of a bike's value on a good lock with a 'sold secure' security rating."

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