Po­lice launch crack­down on Aberdeen bike thefts

Op­er­a­tion Lathe: Plan to pre­vent, de­ter and de­tect steal­ing of bi­cy­cles in city

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - LOCAL NEWS - BY CHRIS JAF­FRAY

Po­lice in Aberdeen have launched a ma­jor crack­down on bike thefts in the city.

Op­er­a­tion Lathe will run through­out the sum­mer months and aims to pre­vent, de­ter and de­tect the steal­ing of bikes in the city.

“Op­er­a­tions like this are es­sen­tial in send­ing out a clear mes­sage”

Over the course of the last four years a to­tal of 2,400 bi­cy­cles were stolen in the north-east – an av­er­age of more than 11 a week.

As part of the op­er­a­tion of­fi­cers will be work­ing in plain clothes and also car­ry­ing out high-vis­i­bil­ity pa­trols to de­ter and dis­rupt thefts.

The op­er­a­tion is an an­nual ef­fort, but is par­tic­u­larly timely this year in the wake of a spate of thefts across the city.

Sergeant Craig Murray, who is lead­ing the op­er­a­tion, said the thefts would not be tol­er­ated.

He said: “Bike thefts have been an is­sue lo­cally in Aberdeen which is why we launched a tar­geted cam­paign – Op­er­a­tion Lathe – last year to ad­dress the is­sue.

“As a re­sult of last year’s op­er­a­tion 31 bikes were re­cov­ered and 34 peo­ple were charged dur­ing a sixweek pe­riod which was an ex­tremely positive start.

“Proac­tive ac­tion to tackle bike crime takes place through­out the en­tire year but op­er­a­tions like this are es­sen­tial in send­ing out a clear mes­sage that this type of crime will not be tol­er­ated.”

Of­fi­cer will also be visit­ing bike shops in the city to urge re­tail­ers to pro­mote se­cu­rity mea­sures and bike own­ers are be­ing urged to do more to pro­tect their prop­erty.

Sgt Murray added: “We would al­ways ad­vise own­ers to lock and tether their bikes to fixed items when­ever they leave them unat­tended.

“There are a vast range of ro­bust bike locks and se­cu­rity prod­ucts avail­able from spe­cial­ist bike shops and other re­tail­ers.”

The op­er­a­tion is also be­ing backed by Coun­cil­lor Martin Greig, who chairs the Aberdeen Com- mu­nity Safety Part­ner­ship. He said: “Lathe is a very wel­come op­er­a­tion that gives a fo­cus to bike theft.

“Lo­cal of­fi­cers have been very proac­tive in tack­ling this type of crime and their ac­tion has rightly fo­cused on fol­low­ing up on avail­able in­for­ma­tion and leads to find the wrong­do­ers. Just a few crim­i­nals can bring mis­ery and dis­tress to a great deal of in­no­cent peo­ple.

“We all share a re­spon­si­bil­ity to fight crime, so it is fan­tas­tic that the po­lice are lead­ing the way in a ma­jor com­mu­nity is­sue that af­fects so many.”

Pic­ture by Kami Thom­son

INI­TIA­TIVE: Sergeant Craig Murray at Tran­si­tion Ex­treme with skate park su­per­vi­sor Dou­glas Castell on his bike.

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