Bike passport plan

AN INCREASE in bike owners means extra opportunities for cycle thieves.

So police are working with local bicycle dealers on a new cycle passport scheme to try and outsmart criminals.

Riders will be able to pick up a free passport from their local retailer, then enter their model details, serial number and a photograph.

At no charge, participating retailers will also mark bikes with a security postcode and house number. If a bike is then stolen that information can be passed to police and insurance companies.

Apart from being an attempt to reduce theft the passport info means recovered stolen bikes can be returned to their rightful owners.

In the southside of Glasgow more than 88 bicycles – ranging in value from 30 to 1,000 – have been stolen in the last three months.

Community cop Graham Love warned: "No bikes are exempt from being targeted by criminals. Bike crime is rising, especially in closes and stairwells of flats".

Retailer Craig Macmartin (53) believes more people are cycling than ever because of a number of different factors.

The bike shop owner told The Extra: "Cycle-to-work schemes, parking problems, environmental responsibility, the price of petrol and fitness concerns all lead to more people riding bikes.

"There is real growth among the over 35s who have maybe retired from competitive sport and a gym membership is out of the question because of financial constraints and family.

"Cycling is then a realtime and cost-efficient way to get exercise during their commute".

Bikers who want to collect your passport and have their machines security marked should visit Behind Bars on Kilmarnock Road, Cyclelane on Clarkston Road and Craig Macmartin cycles on Pollokshaws Road.

Chief inspector Alan Murray at Cathcart added: "We are very grateful to local retailers for supporting this initiative.

"This will undoubtedly assist in catching offenders and reuniting owners with their bikes".