Police Scotland are launching a new campaign to raise awareness of the growing numbers in bike thefts across the country.
‘Pedal Protect’ launched after 4900 were stolen, totalling an increase of 18% rise from the previous year.
One Dunkeld resident and sports journalist, Ric McLaughlin, had four of his bikes stolen from his own home last year.
He said: “I mean, personally it’s a horrible thing but it’s an even worse thing to have to describe, and try to explain to a five-year-old.
“That’s why I would really like them back, I would actually rather the guys, whoever it was, is caught and then hopefully we can explain to our kids that there’s ramifications to these actions.”
Now the police are working with shops to give out advice from the Pedal Protect campaign and resources to help with registering bikes in case they’re stolen.
Perth and Kinross’ area commander, Graham Binnie, also offered his advice when it comes to bike safety.
Local inspector, Graham Binnie, said: “Photograph your bike and record all of your bike’s details and distinguishing features and keep in a safe place.
“The serial number can be found on the bottom bracket. Register your bicycle securely online at the National Cycle Database, www.bikeregister.com Doing this may help to recover your bike if it goes missing.
On registering, you can also download a bike logbook where you can record your bike’s details to keep at hand.
“Security mark your bike’s frame with a UV pen or other method – the mark should include your home postcode and house number.
“Insure your bike, either on contents insurance or separately if required.”
Detective Superintendent Matt Paden, Police Scotland Acquisitive Crime Lead, added: “Across Scotland, cycling is a popular form of transport, as well as a recreational past-time and each year the public spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on buying bikes”
“Despite the significant sums of money people spend on a bike, the amount spent on security pales in comparison. Stealing a bike is often seen as an attractive option for those involved in acquisitive crime, as to do so is normally a quick process, with modest security measures in place, easy to overcome.”
“While bike theft typically takes place to allow thieves to make a quick sale, we now believe more expensive custom bikes are being targeted by organised crime groups so they can be resold for hefty prices, which fund their criminal operations.
“We have launched Pedal Protect because we will be conducting a range of intelligence-led activity to return stolen bikes to their rightful owners, but also to encourage all of those who currently own, or who are considering buying a bike, to invest in appropriate security.
“Our Police Scotland website has a range of useful information on keeping your bike safe available at www.scotland.police.uk/keep-safe/home-and-personal-property/secure-your-bicycle.
“I would also urge anyone who has had a bike lost or stolen to regularly check in with their local policing division and provide all relevant details so we can return as many recovered bikes as possible, often cycles are recovered but no one comes forward to claim them”