Police Scotland has launched an 'anti-bike theft' campaign which has been supported by round the world cyclist Mark Beaumont.
The force say the initiative is in response to the 'rising number' of bicycle thefts across the country.
Over 4,900 reports of stolen cycles were made across Scotland in February this year – a rise of 18 per cent from the previous year.
The ‘Pedal Protect’ campaign, supported by the British Transport Police, was officially launched by Police Scotland on, Friday March, 26, The Scotsman reports.
The launch of Pedal Protect took place at Fettes Police Station in Edinburgh, where officers highlighted the significant number of lost and stolen bikes that come into police possession on a weekly basis.
Supporting the Pedal Protect campaign is record-breaking endurance cyclist, Mark Beaumont.
Beaumont, 38, is a Scottish long-distance cyclist, broadcaster and author.
He currently holds the record for cycling round the world, completing his 18,000-mile (29,000 km) route on 18 September 2017, in less than 79 days.
Speaking at the launch of the campaign, he said: “A bike can cost anything from a couple of hundred pounds, to several thousand pounds, but no matter what you pay, the feeling you get when your bike is stolen is the same.
“It’s devastating when a valued possession is taken from you and that’s why it’s so important to make sure you take all the necessary steps to keep your own bike safe.
“I’m really happy that Police Scotland has launched Pedal Protect, because not only are they taking the investigation of any stolen bike seriously, but are working hard to educate the public on how to safeguard their bikes.
“Having been the victim of a bike theft myself, I know how much distress it causes and that’s why I would urge all cyclists to consider the security they currently have in place for their bikes and ask themselves, are these measures sufficient?"
Today we launched #PedalProtect, a new national bike theft prevention campaign to tackle the rise in bike thefts taking place across the country.
— Police Scotland (@policescotland) March 26, 2021
In order to improve bike security across the country, Police Scotland will be hosting a range of bike marking events and will publicise these on their social media channels.
In addition, many bike retailers across the country have now agreed to provide Pedal Protect and Bike Register security information leaflets to customers who purchase a new bike.
Local policing teams will also continue to gather intelligence on bike thefts taking place in their communities, and carry out appropriate enforcement action when required.
The public are being asked to come forward with any information relating to the theft of bikes within their communities.
Detective Superintendent Matt Paden, Police Scotland acquisitive crime lead, said: “We have launched Pedal Protect because we will be conducting a range of intelligence-led activity to return stolen bikes to their rightful owners, but also to encourage all of those who currently own, or who are considering buying a bike, to invest in appropriate security.
“I would also urge anyone who has had a bike lost or stolen to regularly check in with their local policing division and provide all relevant details so we can return as many recovered bikes as possible, often cycles are recovered but no one comes forward to claim them”