Teenager caught in the act cutting bike lock at Fratton railway station and arrested as police crack down on cycle theft

OFFICERS caught a teenager red-handed cutting a bike lock at Fratton Railway Station and arrested him as they clamp down on cycle thefts in Portsmouth.

Operation Sideline was launched by police to try and reunite owners with their stolen bikes.

This involved proactive patrols across Portsmouth, where officers target those attempting to run off with pedal driven vehicles.

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Officers arrested a 17-year-old from Reading after catching him cutting a bike lock at Fratton railway station. This was part of Operation Sideline. Picture: Hampshire Constabulary.

A statement from Hampshire Constabulary said: ‘We arrested a 17-year-old boy from Reading who was seen by officers cutting a bike lock outside of Fratton railway station.

‘He was arrested on suspicion of theft of a pedal cycle and going equipped for theft.

‘He has been released from police custody but remains under investigation while our enquiries continue.’

The operation was conducted this week from Monday to Thursday.

Police have spoken to bike shop owners and local businesses to gather intelligence and ascertain the issue of pedal cycle theft in the city.

Detective Sergeant Peter Eamer, of Hampshire Constabulary’s Eastern Proactive Unit, issued a warning to any bike thieves in the city.

He said: ‘We are pleased with the results of this operation and we will continue working hard to identify people responsible for cycle theft in Portsmouth and disrupt their criminal activity.

‘People living in the city can help us to tackle the problem by reporting suspicious activity to us and using a quality D lock to secure their bike.

‘My message to thieves is simple, we are watching and we will catch you.’

Advice issued to people to protect their bikes includes double locking them, securing the frame and both wheels to a cycle stand and registering a frame number for free on immobilise.com.

People can also get their vehicle security marked on BikeRegister.com, which tracks them in the event they are stolen.

Portsmouth Chief Inspector Paul Markham said: ‘We do appreciate that people are concerned about bike theft in the city and the impact that such crime has on people’s lives must not be underestimated.

‘I hope that this operation reassures people that we are taking action.

‘Rest assured, we will continue to focus our efforts on disrupting bike theft in Portsmouth and bringing the perpetrators to justice.’

Anyone who’s bike is stolen is advised to call 101 as soon as possible.