People living in Shirley area of city warned to lock up their bikes

Police have warned people living in the Shirley area of Southampton to take extra care of their bicycles after 45 bikes were stolen there in the past six weeks.

The thefts – 19 of them during burglaries – have all taken place since 1 October.

Police believe that unsuccessful attempts have been made to steal bicycles during other burglaries.

Hampshire Constabulary says that the level of bike theft across the city "has stayed steady for sometime but some areas are seeing a spike,” and are urging people to protect their property.

Since October 1 there have been 45 cycles stolen in the Shirley policing area of the city. Nineteen of the bikes were taken in burglaries. It’s believed there have also been other burglaries where thieves have attempted to take cycles but failed.

Shirley Inspector John McGonigle commented: “We have been analysing the data around the bikes stolen and it shows most have been taken in the Redbridge, Millbrook and Coxford area but it doesn’t mean people should get complacent in other parts of the city.

“There is a lot people can do to make it less likely their bike will be targeted.”

He urged people to invest in – and use – a D-lock, and cautioned against leaving a bicycle unsecured in a locked shed or garage, both of which are being targeted by thieves.

Police say that they are deploying “both covert and overt patrols to deter and catch the bike thieves,” and have asked anyone with information to call Shirley SNT on 101 or the charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Cyclists anywhere should obviously take steps to protect their bike as much as they can – have a look at our cycle security tips here.

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.