Bristol student has bike stolen twice in a few months

  • Watch Robert Murphy's report

A student from Bristol who has had her bike stolen twice over the past few months wants bicycle thefts to be treated like other serious crimes.

Nicola Barnes' bike was stolen for the first time from Bristol city centre. She then found it for sale online.

She told Avon and Somerset Police that she would be going to collect the bike as she didn't want to miss the opportunity to get it back.

She said: "I called the police and said, 'I have found my bike, I am going there as I can't afford to pass up this opportunity to get it back but I am going on my own at my own risk and would like some help', so I kind of cornered them into helping me and eventually they told me not to go but to keep speaking to the person and arrange to meet them."

The second time Nicola had her bike stolen a man bought it from the thief, realised it was stolen and then tracked Nicola down and managed to get it back to her.

Bike Mechanic Josh Bryan says that bikes are expensive and that thieves need proper obstacles in the way to prevent them from being able to steal bikes.

He said: "If you have a cable lock unfortunately someone with a big pair of scissors or a set of bolt cutters can snip through in seconds. The lock will be on the floor and they will be gone in seconds.

Avon and Somerset Police officers checking bikes in Bristol

He added: "If you have a 'D-lock' you're looking at preventing the thief for maybe up to a minute or two."

Avon and Somerset Police are the best force in the country for solving bike thefts, with the number three times higher than the rest of the country.

Lead officer Rob Cheeseman said: "I think it's because we are very committed within Avon and Somerset as a whole, to have a real focus on local priorities, understanding those and putting a bespoke service delivery in to be able to deliver those."

Rob also says successful initiatives include bike marking schemes as well as new software which helps police predict where offences might happen next.

He added: "We start to see spikes in certain offence types, spikes from people that are responsible for these criminal activities. It just means we've got a real ability to understand the problem and put a response into that to tackle the issue at a very fast pace.

"The advice is to mark your bike, get a good lock and if it does get stolen have a look at online marketplaces to see if it is being sold."