A new awareness campaign launched by the Harrogate District Community Safety Partnership is encouraging cyclists to do all they can to stop thieves having an easy ride when it comes to stealing bikes.
The warning comes following a recent increase in cycle theft across the district. Between April 2013 and February 2014, 141 bikes were stolen across the district compared to 84 between April 2012 and February 2013. The new ‘STOP Cycle Theft’ campaign provides invaluable advice to help keep bicycles safe and secure, and explains how cyclists can increase the chances of their bikes being recovered if they are stolen.
The first event, which took place in Harrogate’s town centre on 9th April, proved to be a resounding success with over 100 people receiving advice on cycle security and an information pack. The event also provided the opportunity for attendees to step into the shoes of a bicycle thief and test the strength of different types of cycle lock with a pair of bolt cutters, while young cyclists received free fluorescent arm straps to ensure their visibility to other road users.
Julia Stack, Community Safety & CCTV Manager at Harrogate Borough Council, was pleased by the reaction to the first ‘STOP Cycle Theft’ event: With the imminent arrival of the Tour de France, the world’s greatest cycle race, there has been a noticeable increase in cycle ownership across the district. Unfortunately opportunist thieves have taken advantage and there has also been an increase in cycle theft in recent months.
The ‘STOP Cycle Theft’ campaign provides valuable tips on how to keep bicycles safe and secure including information on cycle locks, registration and police identification, insurance, where to park, and how to secure your bike at home.
Cyclists need to think about the value of their bike and the type and quality of the lock that they are using. It is no good storing your bike in a shed with a flimsy low value lock; you need to upgrade your lock and to also think about additional security to prevent your bike from being stolen.There were many positives from the day. While it was fulfilling to provide advice to cycling enthusiasts who were unaware of how they could prevent their bike’s from being stolen, we were also pleased with the reaction of those people who had already considered their security carefully, but who were still receptive to the advice being given.
The Harrogate District Community Safety Partnership will be running additional ‘STOP Cycle Theft’ events in the coming weeks in Knaresborough, Ripon and Harrogate’s Valley Gardens.
For more information visit: www.saferharrogate.org.uk
Anyone who would like an information pack should contact the Harrogate District Community Safety Partnership team on 01423 551652 or email firstname.lastname@example.org