Bike kits offered to victims of bike theft

West Mercia Police is offering bike kits to victims of bike thefts to help prevent any replacement bike being stolen.

The kits, which are part of We Don’t Buy Crime’s commitment to tackling acquisitive crime, include SmartWater forensic property marking.

Items marked with the invisible liquid can be traced to the owner, so in the event it does get stolen, it can be returned.

The kits also include deterrent stickers which can be stuck on the bike warning would be thieves the property has been marked.

Head of Local Policing, Chief Superintendent Tom Harding, said: “We know more and more people have been out cycling during Covid-19 and that this week also sees the start of national bike week, as police we want to do our bit to help people to protect their bike and make it unattractive to thieves.

“Bike theft can have a considerable impact on a victim and that is particularly pertinent at the moment when it could be an essential part of a person’s exercise or they could be using their bike to get to work to avoid public transport.

We Don’t Buy Crime essentially aims to put criminals out of business by putting in place prevention measures that increase the chances thieves will get caught. By offering these kits we are sending a strong message to thieves that actually the bike they are looking to steal has been property marked. If they take it they will end up marked with SmartWater which can stay on the skin for weeks. If we catch them with a stolen bike not only can we prove the bike does not belong to them but we can return it to the owner.

“Our work under We Don’t Buy Crime also sees us work with second-hand stores who have been provided with a UV torch to check property, so when non-essential shops start to re-open in a couple of weeks, if they try to a sell a bike that has been marked the store will let us know.

“We would of course encourage people to take their own crime prevention measures, such as investing in a good quality lock and not leaving the bike lying in the street or propped against a wall but really do want to do all we can to help.”

We Don’t Buy Crime, supported by West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion, is West Mercia Police’s response to acquisitive crime, which includes crimes such as burglary and theft. The award-winning initiative has five main themes including We Don’t Buy Crime towns and villages where whole communities are protected with SmartWater; work with second-hand stores; work with fuel stations to help prevent fuel theft and associated harm to provide people with the skills and knowledge to know the signs someone may be involved in crime, or exploiting someone vulnerable. The fifth area of We Don’t Buy Crime utilises the latest in covert tactics to catch criminals in the act.