PUPILS at a South Tyneside school have been given a helping hand to protect their bikes from criminals.
Police called into Mortimer Community College in Reading Road, South Shields, as part of a week-long drive to raise awareness of the need for cyclists to lock up bikes whenever they are left unattended.
The visit comes after figures, released by police, revealed 25 bikes a month were being stolen from across South Tyneside, between April and September, with most being left with either no security or inadequate locks.
For the past week, police have been stepping up their campaign, targeting known bike thieves, asking shops selling cycles to remind customers of the importance of security and visiting schools to encourage pupils to act on crime prevention advice.
Neighbourhood Inspector Peter Sutton said: “It only takes a second for a thief to ride off on a bike which has been left unattended and insecure.
“Thieves are much more likely to leave alone a bike that has been securely chained because it’s more work for them, it also runs the risk of drawing attention to themselves.
“But despite repeated warnings there are still people leaving bikes unchained or using inadequate locks.
“The visit to the schools was all about raising awareness amongst young people of the need to take bike security seriously – including where their bike is kept overnight.”
It is hoped pupils will help spread the message to family members.
Insp Sutton added: “As well as reminding people of the need to tighten up their bike security, we are also talking about how to secure bikes at night.
“Even stored in a shed, they should be securly chained, if possible, to larger and noisy items, to deter criminals.”
For more crime prevention advice, residents are encouraged to speak to their local neighbourhood police officer.