Police are locking up bikes that have been left insecure as part of a drive to reduce cycle thefts in Lancaster, Lancashire's Cycling Town.
The city has seen an increase in the number of thefts of pedal cycles, with bikes being taken after they have been left insecure outside shops, homes or in unlocked sheds.
Officers from the local neighbourhood police teams have been using bicycle locks to secure any cycles which look as though they would be an easy target for thieves.
The owners have been left a note asking them to contact the police station in order to collect the keys to the lock, which they can then keep. They are also being given crime prevention advice on how to keep their bicycle, and other personal property, safe in the future.
“Opportunistic thieves find an unlocked bike very tempting and unfortunately we have seen a slight rise in the number of reported thefts," says Sergeant Jane Anderson from Lancaster police.
“Coming back to find your bicycle locked up by officers may be an inconvenience – but it would be more of an inconvenience, and a greater cost, to have to replace a stolen one.”
“I would advise cyclists to always secure their bike when they leave it – even if they are only nipping into a shop for a few minutes," she added. "Attach your bicycle to a sturdy object using a good quality bike lock and if possible put the lock through the frame rather than the wheels – as these can be removed by determined thieves.
“When you are finished with your bike for the day secure it properly, preferably in a locked shed or garage.
"The message is clear – lock it or lose it.”