Police board Gosport ferry to give warning to rise in bike thefts

Picture: Malcolm Wells

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OFFICERS boarded a ferry to warn commuters of an increase in bike thefts.

Passengers on Gosport Ferry were given advice and vouchers for half price D-locks by police officers.

It comes as Fareham and Gosport saw a hike in thefts, with 173 over the summer, up from 132 last year.

There were 403 thefts in Portsmouth, up from 252 last summer, while bike thefts in Havant have decreased from 80 to 67 this summer.

Keith Edwards is the general manager of Gosport Ferry.

He said his staff were keen to help the police wherever they can.

Mr Edwards said: ‘If cycles are being stolen on one side of the harbour and taken away across to the other side, where maybe the perpetrators think they can get away with it, then the ferry unfortunately is a potential link.

‘Generally during the day it’s the commuters who leave their bikes near the ferry terminal.

‘Our ticket office staff keep an eye out where they can.’

Mr Edwards added the company does have CCTV that covers part of the area where bikes are locked up.

Police officers from the Safer Neighbourhood teams also handed out crime prevention leaflets to the commuters on Thursday, September 19.

The ferry was chosen as its passengers were effectively a captive audience.

PCSO Sandy Ayriss said: ‘We were on board the ferry from 8.30am in the morning and then came back again for the evening rush hour at 5pm.

‘We spoke to almost 100 people during our time on the ferry and received a positive reception.

‘We’ve seen a rise in cycle theft recently.

‘It’s really important that cyclists secure their bikes properly. D-locks are the best locks to use, chains and cable locks are easy for thieves to cut through.’

Cllr June Cully is one of two Town ward members at Gosport Borough Council.

She said: ‘It’s despicable, they’re depriving someone of a means of transport they’ve purchased.

‘Anyone pick up a bike reasonably, you don’t have to steal, there’s no excuse.’

Call Safer Neighbourhoods team on 101 for more crime prevention advice.

The D-lock vouchers are valid at Halfords.