Reports of bike thefts have been increasing at Winchester Sport and Leisure Park.

The leisure park, on Bar End Road, has a bike shelter which can be used by anyone.

The facility has been open for almost one year, and recent meetings with the operator, Everyone Active, have shown impressive membership numbers.

However, recent reports on social media have seen increasing numbers of bikes being stolen from the shelter, despite CCTV being in place.

Cllr Sue Cook said that Winchester City Council encourage people to use their bike when visiting the leisure park and that bikes thefts are a problem.

She said: “Sadly there have been bikes disappearing without the owners consent for some months.

“There are signs up saying it’s not the responsibility of Everyone Active and right next to that sign is a warning ref CCTV so if that is the case has that been investigated to see who the actual culprits are?

“The lighting in that cycle storage area is pretty much non existent so that needs urgent attention and closer CCTV needs to be invested in.

“As a council we are encouraging residents and visitors to walk and cycle around the city so we as a city council need to be proactive and deal with this issue head on and that means taking action.

“If the culprits are found with the cycles then they need to be prosecuted accordingly.

“Cycles are not inexpensive items to purchase and we need to be preventing this level of crime with taking the suitable measures that are totally within our power and means.”

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Former city councillor Jackie Porter said on the online forum Next Door: “I've asked Cllr Angela Clear to investigate- she has said she'll raise it immediately.”

The park's operator, Everyone Active, was asked to comment on the increase in thefts, but said it was within the council's remit.

A Hampshire Constabulary spokesman said: “We have received a number of reports of thefts of bicycles that had been parked at the Winchester Sport and Leisure Park in Bar End.

“Since the beginning of March, we have received 20 such reports. We are investigating, conducting patrols and liaising with Winchester City Council and the leisure centre management.

“If anyone has information about these thefts, or have noticed bikes being sold in suspicious circumstances, then please call 101.”

Police also advised the following measures:

• Ensure your bike is locked or anchored to an immovable point

• Use a D-Lock - anything less won’t do

• If you use Strava or ride tracking apps, make sure your privacy settings are changed so that your start and end point aren’t shared; this is clearly your home address and where you probably store your bike

• Mark your bike by using a property or police approved forensic marking solution only visible under Ultraviolet (UV) light

• Take pictures of the bike, as well as the bike frame number, as this can assist police in stolen property is recovered and reunite you with your prized possessions

• Register your bike free of charge using one of the accredited property databases such as

A Winchester City Council spokesman said: “We are aware of the recent bike thefts at the Winchester Sport & Leisure Park in Bar End. Winchester City Council is working with Everyone Active and Hampshire Constabulary to tackle this issue. We’re talking with members of the public to understand from them what additional measures need to be in place to protect their bikes. We have also ordered bike lockers, which will be installed in front of our reception area in Colebrook Street in the near future.”

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