Bike D-lock sales in Portsmouth soar after crackdown on cycle thefts

Attacker followed his victim for a mile before assault in city alleyway

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POLICE say bike D-lock sales have soared thanks to a joint campaign with The News against cycle thefts.

We joined forces with Portsmouth’s City Centre Unit to highlight the importance of keeping bikes well secured after a rise in thefts in the city.

A competition on social networking website Twitter attracted hundreds of entries, with people explaining why they wanted to receive a free D-lock from police in 140 characters or less.

The five winners are Twitter users @Southsea_mum, @jjg88, @benjo82, @joelclayt and @kimb0lene.

Police say the competition helped raise awareness and sent sales of D-locks from Portsmouth Central police station in Winston Churchill Avenue, rocketing.

Acting Inspector Rob Sutton said: ‘We’ve sold dozens since the article.

‘We completely sold out and had to order another 100 in.

‘We’ve got a lot more, much safer bikes out there now.’

Police have sold about 2,500 D-locks since joining forces with Hargroves Cycles to offer them for sale with a discounted £20 price tag.

Acting Insp Sutton added: ‘It’s gone really well and we’re getting the message out to people on the back of the article in The News about the importance of bike security.

‘People are going into police stations to get D-locks and we even sent one over to the Isle of Wight for someone.’

Crime prevention advice to help cyclists avoid becoming victims of bike crime include removing detachable lights and registering property at hampshire.police.uk/immobilise.

This can increase the chances of people being reunited with their property if it is reported stolen.

Other advice includes keeping bike inside and out of sight where possible, preferably secured to an immovable object or floor or wall-mounted anchor lock.

Cyclists are urged to note down the make, model and frame number and take a photo of themselves with their bike to help prove ownership.

To find out more about bike security marking events held in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight visit the safer neighbourhoods team pages at hampshire.police.uk