Colchester Borough Council is monitoring the situation closely and will continue to take action to minimise disruption and keep residents and visitors safe.
Date issued: 6 March 2020
The Safer Colchester Partnership has re-launched its Bike Wise campaign, encouraging people to keep their bikes secure and providing guidance on effective security methods.
The campaign, which first launched in 2014, will see police officers carry out audits of bikes parked in the town centre, at Leisure World, the University and other areas. Cyclists will be confidentially informed on how well they have parked their bike, via a tag which will be placed on their bike. The tag will also include suggestions on how they can improve security.
Stickers will also be placed on cycle racks to remind users to lock their bike, and police will carry out extra patrols to deter thieves. Local cycle shops will also be involved and will be happy to offer advice on bike security.
There will also be a competition held on the Enjoy Colchester Facebook page in which participants can win one of ten high-quality bike locks.
The re-launch of this project is being partly funded through Colchester Borough Council’s Better Colchester campaign, underpinning work to make the borough an even more attractive place to live, work and visit.
Sergeant Stuart Austin, of Colchester's Town Centre Team, said: "With the warmer months upon us, more people are travelling in Colchester by bike and with that comes the potential rise in bike thefts. Opportunists, particularly around the town centre and university, will check your bike to see how secure it is.
“When it comes to your possessions – possibly your transport to work or into town – please don’t cut corners. We know most bikes thefts are avoidable and there are many steps you can take to help keep your bike safe.”
“It’s worth considering marking your property, the locks you are using, the places you are keeping them and assessing your home security. We been working closely with Colchester Borough Council to educate bike users or potential cyclists about the great benefits of cycling and the steps you can take to keep you and your stuff safe.
“Most of your Town Centre Team and Community Policing Team officers are trained on bikes and will be around to help give advice and answer your questions. There is also plenty of advice on our website: http://www.essex.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/theft-of-a-bicycle/how-safe-is-your-bike/ ”
Pam Donnelly, Chair of Safer Colchester Partnership, added: “You’d be surprised at how many people don’t lock their bikes properly, or even at all. And whilst there is a good choice of cycle parking racks in the town centre overlooked by CCTV, many bike thefts are made by opportunist thieves who target unlocked bikes. That's why we want to educate people on not just the importance of locking up their bikes, but on how important it is to invest in a top-quality lock too.”
Cllr Mike Lilley, Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Communities, Wellbeing and Public Safety, said: “It’s great to see the re-launch of the Bike Wise campaign. Through Bike Wise we can let cyclists know the best ways to lock up their bike, so they can feel secure enough to enjoy the environmental, physical health and money saving benefits of cycling.
“We are passionate about making Colchester a safe place for residents and visitors, and I am thrilled that the Better Colchester campaign can support such an important initiative.”
Further information about the Bike Wise campaign can be found at www.safercolchester.co.uk/Bikewise.