CYCLISTS should help to combat crime by marking their bikes and recording the details.

The crimefighting call comes from PC Ian Castle, of Basingstoke police, who says many cyclists will need reminding after getting new bikes for Christmas.

He also stresses that if a bike is stolen, the owner should always inform the police because officers recover many which are never reunited with their owners.

The Winklebury beat officer said: “Lots of bikes that have been lost or stolen are found and recovered by police, but people don’t always report them stolen because they don’t think we will ever find them.

“A lot of people don’t make a note of their serial number either, which makes it hard to identify the bike from others.”

The serial number is usually found beneath the bottom bracket. Anyone unable to find it, should get the shop to record it on the invoice.

PC Castle said: “With the serial number, it is easier to catch the offenders and return the property and we do stop a lot of people on bikes. But unless we can identify a stolen bike, we can’t challenge someone.”

He added that, in the run-up to Christmas, he had recovered five complete bikes and four frames in Winklebury, but the yard at Basingstoke police station was so full of unclaimed bikes, some worth about £500, that there was no room for any more.

The constable said bike theft was a big problem and he is offering to help residents mark their bikes with a special UV pen and stickers and to give advice on bike safety. Gary Langron, proprietor of Winklebury Cycles, in Winklebury Centre, is also offering advice.

Anyone wanting more information can contact PC Castle, at Basingstoke police station, on 0845 045 4545, or e-mail ian.castle@hampshire.pnn. You can also register your bike’s details online at