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Safer cycle storage part of crime-fighting project

Posted onPosted on 29th Jun

Bicycle owners are being urged to safeguard their machines by taking advantage of 22 secure street pods around Newark town centre.

The pods have been installed in locations including Morrisons and Waitrose supermarkets, Baldertongate, St Marks Place and Queen’s Court, as part of the Safer Streets project to cut bike theft and improve public safety in the town. Each pod can hold two cycles, making a total of 44 new secure spaces available with a further six new pods coming soon.

The Safer Streets initiative was launched in Newark last year by the Office for the Police and Crime Commissioner, in partnership with Newark and Sherwood District Council, Nottinghamshire Police and Nottinghamshire County Council.

While the project primarily focuses on the Chatham Court and Northgate areas, the new cycle pods have been installed around the entire town, positioned outside shops and community facilities, to offer residents and cyclists coming into the area additional protection and security for their bikes.

The pods protect the front wheel within a casing, while the frame and rear wheel are secured using just a single lock.

Meanwhile, additional storage has been added especially for residents who live in flat blocks. Two secure cycle ‘hangars’ have been installed at both Tithe Barn and Chatham Court, Newark, while existing cycle storage has been upgraded from one large store to individual compartments for up to 12 bikes at Chatham Court.

More than 65 high quality GPS tracking devices are also being handed out to cyclists as part of Safer Streets. The devices, worth more than £100 each, were trialled on their efficiency and link to a smart phone, enabling the owner to trace the bike — even using it to alert the police to where the bike is being kept.

Free bike marking sessions have also taken place throughout the last year, as part of work to reduce cycle theft, identify stolen bikes and assist in owner recovery. Bike marking consists of taking the frame number from the cycle and marking the cycle with a unique reference number with a chemical compound and applying a semi-tamperproof sticker. All information is recorded and logged on a secure database.

Coun David Lloyd, leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “The new bike pods provide a practical solution for the many cyclists of Newark who live in the area or use local facilities and are concerned about security when leaving their bikes.

“We’ve also added additional cycle storage in the two key project areas. Previously, we have found bikes belonging to residents left on balconies or even in corridors, which is not only a trip and fire hazard, but also makes them much more susceptible to theft. These are just one of a number of specific tactics to reduce acquisitive crime, such as bike theft, meaning opportunistic thieves are more likely than ever to get caught.”

Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry added: “I am fully behind any improvement measures which spare local people the anguish of becoming a victim of crime while giving residents greater power in protecting their property and homes.

“Safer Streets is not just about improving safety, however, it’s about instilling pride in the community and these pods will certainly have a positive impact on the way local people feel about where they live. They also send out a message to criminals that their activities will simply not be tolerated.”

Inspector Charlotte Allardice, district commander for Newark and Sherwood, said: “It’s great to see more bike security measures in the town and I urge residents to take advantage of them.

“It’s always worth securing your bike wherever you are and with these street pods all you need is a strong lock. We want people to feel encouraged to use a pedal bike and are glad that we can offer these measures to prevent bikes from being stolen.”