A SPIKE in bike thefts in York has prompted a crackdown by police.

North Yorkshire Police say officers in the city launched Operation Lock, which is jointly led by the York City Neighbourhood Policing Team and York City Task Force, back in June, with a number of different actions including; seizing suspected stolen bikes and returning them to their lawful owners, reviewing historic reports of bike thefts and CCTV to locate suspects, reviewing information passed anonymously to Crimestoppers and working with partners like York City Council, York Street Rangers and local cycle charities.

Another key strand of the operation is to increase awareness of bike safety and best practice to prevent thieves, along with running property marking events so the public can bring their bikes to be marked and recorded.

The operation has already seen a number of successes with many stolen bikes seized and three individuals arrested. Two have been charged for cycle thefts and one is released on bail following a commercial burglary.

Top tips to keep your bikes safe from thieves:

Register it: Get your bike security marked and registered at BikeRegister. It’s a highly effective, visible deterrent to bike thieves. They know that if they are caught with a registered bike, the owner can be traced and they will be arrested.

Record it: Remember to record details of your bike such as the frame number (normally found underneath the bike between the pedals or where the back wheel slots in), the BikeRegister number plus any other distinguishing features, and take a photo.

Double-lock it: It can take thieves as little as few seconds to cut through some locks, so use two good quality locks, at least one of which is a D-lock.

Lock the lot: Lock the frame and both wheels to the cycle parking stand.

Secure it: Secure your bike as close to the stand as possible to give any thieves little or no room to manoeuvre.

Remove the removable bits: Take parts that are easy to remove with you. Or use locking skewers or nuts which can increase security by securing the bike’s components to the frame permanently, making it difficult for thieves to steal detachable parts.

Park secure: Lock your bike at recognised secure cycle parking. It should be well lit and covered by CCTV.

Remember safety begins at home: Take the same care to lock your bike securely at home as you would on the street.

Check ownership: Ask for proof of ownership and check the bike frame number on the Bike Checker at BikeRegister.

Act fast: If your bike has been stolen, contact North Yorkshire Police as soon as possible. Give us your frame number, BikeRegister number, a photo and any other details and make sure you update the status on BikeRegister. The sooner we know, the sooner we can act, which might stop it being sold on.