The Swansea and Neath Port Talbot region of South Wales has been hit by a massive increase in bike thefts over the past year – in the last week alone seven motorcycles have been reported stolen, adding one new victim every day to the stats of this surging crime wave.
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These latest figures give just a small insight into the scale of the problem. According to South Wales Police, 345 bikes were stolen across the division between June 1, 2017 and May 30 2018 and there are no signs as yet that this trend is abating.
Thieves made off with seven motorcycles in just two days on the weekend of the Wales Air Show, but while some thefts are considered opportunistic police believe many are being targeted with a specific purpose in mind, either due to the high value of the bike or as a tool to commit further crimes. Others are just burnt out.
'Motorbike thefts have become a concern'
But police are fighting back. These shocking figures have been the catalyst for the launch of South Wales Police’s Operation Buxton, which aims to highlight the issue. It also provides crime prevention advice to owners, while identifying and prosecuting those committing – and profiting from – the thefts.
Communities and Partnerships Chief Inspector Declan Cahill said, “Motorbike thefts have become a concern on this division and we are keen to work with the motorcycling community to tackle it. We will be working with motorbike clubs, groups and retailers to raise awareness of the issue and to help ensure appropriate crime prevention steps are being used.”
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Lewis added: “Visible patrols will be increased and covert action will also be carried out in order to identify and prosecute those responsible. In a small number of incidents, suspects have also approached riders on their vehicles. Whilst on your bike, please be aware of your surroundings, if you become suspicious of other motorbikes, pull over in a safe location and contact the police.”
Other police top tips include parking in well-lit areas, securing the back wheel to the frame with an approved chain lock and covering the bike. Tracking devices and property marking is also advised. Anyone with information regarding bike crime, or anyone who sees suspicious behaviour that they think may be linked to it should call 101 quoting occurrence 1800227137.
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