Register aims to reunite bikes and owners

Alicia PereraPilbara News
City of Karratha community safety coordinator Steph Sparks, Mayor Peter Long and Karratha police OIC Senior Sergeant Andy Stevens display free bike locks and stickers part of the National Bike Register, with keen local cyclists Natasha, 6, and Alexander Little, 10.
Camera IconCity of Karratha community safety coordinator Steph Sparks, Mayor Peter Long and Karratha police OIC Senior Sergeant Andy Stevens display free bike locks and stickers part of the National Bike Register, with keen local cyclists Natasha, 6, and Alexander Little, 10. Credit: Pilbara News, Alicia Perera

Deterring thieves and reuniting stolen bikes with their owners is the aim of a new crime prevention program being promoted in the City of Karratha area through the offer of free bike locks.

The National Bike Register website, which was launched late last year, asks people to register information about their bikes on an online police database and be issued with an identifying sticker, allowing officers to search for its details should they recover it as stolen property.

The program has received a local boost in recent weeks in the form of 1000 free bike locks being offered to the first residents to sign up, as part of an incentive scheme from the Karratha Safer Communities Partnership.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the register and bike lock incentive tied in well with the City’s Safer Communities Partnership focus on bicycle thefts.

“We’ve been concentrating on bikes because it’s such a problem in our area. There are a lot of bikes stolen,” he said.

“So this is a new initiative that’s going ahead and we think it’s going to do some good and reduce a lot of burglaries.”

Karratha police officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Andy Stevens said with bike theft a particular crime issue in the area, the register would go a long way to helping officers return stolen bikes to their owners.

“We have a shed full of bicycles we’ve recovered that we can’t find owners for. Every couple of months we fill that shed up,” he said.

“We know a lot of these bicycles have great value for the children who may have owned them... but simply because they haven’t registered these bicycles, or reported the theft in a way where we can identify them, we’re unable to give them back to the owners.”

“By using the National Bike Register then people can for free record the information in a database which, if they opt in, police can access and identify the bike through a photograph.”

Sen. Sgt Stevens said he hoped the register would also promote better crime prevention practices, help police prove bikes had been stolen and reduce the numbers able to be sold as proceeds of crime.

As part of the campaign, Karratha police visited local schools late last month (May) holding “marking days”, where children learned how to mark their bikes in ways identifiable to police in case of a theft.

For more information or to register your bike, visit nationalbikeregister.com.au.

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