With its main campus based in the heart of the city, the bicycle is the preferred mode of transport for many students at Newcastle University.
On most days there are hundreds of bikes chained up outside faculty buildings and they have become a target for opportunist thieves.
However, such crime has been significantly reduced thanks to new research by the university's Centre for Behaviour and Evolution - and the solution is brilliant in its simplicity.
The research team found that by placing pictures of staring eyes above bike racks less bikes were stolen.
In a two year experiment on the university campus, the academics managed to reduce thefts from the racks with the eye pictures, combined with a short anti-theft message, by 62%.
There was also a noticeable difference in places without the signs, where bike theft went up by 63%, suggesting that the crime had been displaced to other locations, rather than eliminated.
But, the academics were not working alone - in fact the idea to widen their initial study to this large scale trial came from university security guard Ken Nott.
The findings have already led to changes on the Newcastle University campus and the team are working with police across the country to advise them on how they may be able to use the research.