Portsmouth City Council is working with Hampshire Constabulary and the University of Portsmouth to offer free bike marking sessions.

The sessions, held fortnightly on Thursdays, take place outside the University Library on Cambridge Road from 1pm to 3pm.

During the session, bikes will be permanently marked with a unique code and added to the national Bike Register database. The database makes it easier for police forces nationwide to reunite stolen bikes with their owners. It can also act as a deterrent to would-be thieves as the bike is permanently inscribed, making it more difficult to sell.

Cllr Lynne Stagg, Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transport, said: "Cycling is a great way of getting around the city as it's so flat and accessible. We're offering the free security marking as we want residents and students to feel confident about cycling here.

"Once a bike has been security marked and registered on the database, it's much more likely for the police to be able to trace it back to its owner."

Inspector Marcus Cator said: “We are working hard to try to reduce the number of cycle thefts in the city.

“In addition to the free  cycle marking we are also selling good quality D locks at reduced prices at Portsmouth Central Police Station."

Fiona Bell, Estates and Campus Services Director, University of Portsmouth, said: "We welcome the opportunity to support the council and police in reducing cycle thefts in the city.

"Registering bikes for free is a vital way to help tackle cycle theft and supports us in encouraging our students and staff to take a more environmentally-friendly travel option."

Top tips for good cycle security

  • fit a good bike lock, such as one with a Sold Secure rating, and attach your bike to something secure
  • always lock your bicycle, even if you are only leaving it for a couple of minutes
  • have your bike's frame security-marked or etched
  • keep your bike in a secure garage or shed when at home
  • if you have quick-release wheels, lock them up as well or take them with you
  • remove lights from the bike and take them with you
  • register your bike with schemes such as Bike Register or Immobilise

The next bike marking event takes place on Thursday 18 October outside the University Library. To find out more, including dates for the remainder of 2018, visit www.portsmouth.gov.uk and search 'Cycle security'.