POLICE are set to hold another bike marking session at Winchester Sport and Leisure Park in a bid to deter thieves.

This comes after reports of an increasing number of bikes being stolen from the Bar End facility over the past few months.

A similar event was held last month, with officers marking just under 50 bikes using BikeRegister kits.

The process makes bikes less attractive for criminals to pinch and assists police in quickly tracing the rightful owner when stolen cycles are recovered.

Officers will be at the leisure centre alongside representatives from Winchester City Council from 11am to 2pm on Saturday, July 13.

The latest session is part of a continued effort from both authorities to curb the ongoing problem.

At a meeting of the council on Wednesday, July 6, Cllr Kelsie Learney said civic chiefs have already taken steps to beef up security at the site.

She said: “As part of the council response a set of four secure cycle lockers have been placed close to the building entrance of the Leisure Centre along with two sets of cycle toaster racks.

“Their location was chosen to make sure that they are in full view of reception and where footfall and therefore natural surveillance is high. It is also the location where leisure centre users were locking their bikes to the railings but the position of these can be changed if it is felt necessary.

“The management of the leisure park have briefed staff how to help customers use the racks.

“In addition, we have been working in partnership with our local police teams who have increased their surveillance at the leisure park and apprehended a suspect. The existing CCTV coverage for the leisure park has also been reviewed and improved with their assistance and finally they have also carried out a bike marking and bike security event with Cycle Winchester in attendance and we hope to run a second event in the near future.”

Previously, a Hampshire Constabulary spokesperson 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.”

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