In an effort to tackle the problem of bike theft, Police Services of Northern Ireland is offering cyclists the opportunity to have their bikes security marked and registered on a national cycle database, BikeRegister.
Each bike will be marked with its own unique reference number which the PSNI then uses to register onto the BikeRegister website.
More than 600,000 bikes are currently registered on the system, which also allows bike owners to upload a picture of their bike alongside its details.
PSNI Sergent Pete Cunningham commented: “The security marking and registration is a good visible deterrent to bike thieves. They know if they are caught in possession of a registered bike, the rightful owner can be traced and they will be arrested.”
According to PSNI, three bikes are reported stolen every day in the region. In 2014/15 966 bicycle were reported stolen, with an estimated value of £1.4 million. Despite these high figures, it’s estimated that just one in six bike thefts are reported.
Sgt Cunningham continued: “People are leaving their bikes unattended, which provides a unique opportunity for others to take them. We need to secure bikes when we are out and about," he warned. “Even if it is just for a short period of time, they need to be secured and left in a well-lit area."