POLICE are set to put up spy cameras over York's bike racks in a bid to catch thieves.

The small CCTV cameras will be set up to watch over cycle storage facilities in the city centre in the latest bid to slash the increasing number of bike thefts.

The moveable cameras are the latest in a series of measures being used by police in a bid to reduce bike thefts, with between five bikes being stolen every day in the city.

Sergeant Martin Metcalfe, of the Guildhall neighbourhood policing team, said: "We are sick and tired of cycle crime and we are not going to tolerate it in the city centre. We are going to be putting up cameras at bike racks in the area for the foreseeable future."

"We are not going to be able to stop it completely but if we can cut it by 50 per cent then that's a good result.

"I'm determined to reduce the figures and I'm determined to catch offenders and bring them to justice."

There have been 290 bikes stolen in York since May 1, compared with 230 in the same period last year.

But forty of those stolen in the last five weeks have been recovered, compared with 21 in the same period in 2006.

Police attribute the increase in the number of stolen bikes which are being recovered to their efforts with free cycle tagging.

Thousands of cyclists have had their bikes tagged under the scheme, which is being run by police and Safer York Partnership.

Officers have also been carrying out stop checks on cyclists to make sure their bikes belong to them and have not been reported stolen.

The Press told last week how police are testing out ten cycle alarms, which give out a high-pitched, piercing alarm if a bike is moved without the device being deactivated.

Police have been given the alarms to test to see how well they work. If the trial is successful the alarms will be rolled out across York.

Earlier this year, the city came fifth in a list of the worst places in the country for bike theft, compiled by Halifax Home Insurance.

Cycle thief appeal

POLICE are appealing for information regarding the identity of a man caught on CCTV at York Railway Station.

The man is believed to have been responsible for the theft of a bicycle from the cycle racks at the station on Saturday, May 26, at 4pm.

He has been described as a white male, aged about mid to late twenties, proportionate build, swarthy complexion, unshaven and with short dark hair.

He was wearing a red, round-neck shirt with a large white number 9 on the front, a white zipped jacket with England and logo in red on the back, red England badge on the front and blue jeans.

Sgt Robin Edwards of British Transport Police said: "We are appealing for anyone who may recognise the man caught on CCTV to phone us in strict confidence on 0800 405040, quoting incident number C02/062689.

The appeal follows an increase in cycle thefts at the railway station.

In the past two weeks, three men have been arrested by British Transport Police at the railway station, two for the attempted theft of cycles and one for handling stolen goods.