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Bike-tagging drive to ward off thieves in Swindon
A DRIVE to tag bicycles was launched yesterday in an attempt to tackle the surge in bike thefts.
And police have joined forces with Swindon Council to hold a crime prevention day.
“Being able to show when bikes are stolen and return them to their original owners is often a problem we have, so we are trying to tackle that in particular.
“There are people we are actively looking to target and if we can prove a bike is stolen it makes our job a lot easier.
“Hopefully in the long run it can prevent further crime.
“We want to get the message out to the people who we believe are involved in this, letting them know we have our eyes on them. We are looking at anti-social behaviour orders, so if we cannot link them directly to the bike thefts we can target them in other ways as well.
“We are also raising awareness around cold calling. While cold calling itself is not illegal, it is linked with a lot of illegal activity. Some callers use pressure techniques to make people do what they otherwise would not.
“There are those who do it legitimately but it is difficult to establish who they are. We are urging people to use Buy With Confidence, which contains a list of approved contractors.”
Coun Derique Montaut (Lab - Liden, Eldene and Park South), said: “This is an area where social deprivation is one of the highest levels in the country, and those people who can least afford it are having their property stolen.
“Many of these people are dependent on low cost transport, and these thefts come at a time when we are encouraging people to get onto their bikes and out of their cars, and act as a disincentive for people to own a bike.”
Jane Dudley, NeST development worker, said: “We have marked about 33 bikes so far and we are only half way through the day. We have done the marking for free. They will then go on a national register database with a number that is unique to the user. If it is found, because it has selected DNA, police can access a database and track it back to the owner.
“Alternatively, as an individual you can access your own information. As soon as it is found it can be tracked to a certain location. The furthest one we have tracked is to London.
“This is also about education. It would be so much simpler if people looked after their bikes and locked them up.”
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