Avon & Somerset Constabulary is urging members of the public not to hesitate to call 999 if they see a bike theft being committed. The force, whose patch includes Bristol and Bath, has also released a video of an officer who played the role of a thief who was able to 'steal' a bike several times in broad daylight without anyone alerting the police.
In the YouTube film, PCSO Neil Spiring also demonstrates just how easy it is to take a bike that's been 'secured' with a cheap lock - one good yank and the bicycle is free - giving food for thought for anyone who maybe sticks a cheap cable in their jersey pocket to 'secure' their pride and joy during a cafe stop on a ride.
As the film, released as part of the force's current anti-crime initiative called Relentless clearly shows, the officer's behaviour around the bike stands attracts attention from cyclists and passers-by alike, but not one called the police - even when he was dressed in a skeleton outfit to draw maximum attention to himself.
Inspector Keith Rundle commented: "We're not suggesting that anyone become a 'have-a-go hero' but we're asking people to call 999 and report bike theft as soon as they see it happening so we can catch the bike thieves in the act."
The force has also provided video of previous operations that have shown thieves being caught in the act by undercover officers.
"We are constantly on the lookout for bike thieves but we also need the community to be vigilant and to call us if they see a crime happening," added Inspector Rundle.
"Our message today is if you see anything suspicious call 999 and let us know. The faster you let us know the more likely we are to be able to catch the thief."
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.