Stamping out bicycle thefts

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IT was good to read that our local police have revived cycle stamping to prevent theft.

It brought back a few memories for the number of bikes we post coded back in the 70s and 80s must have run in to the many hundreds.

Along with PC Stuart Graham, the Rastrick Community Constable, we did it as an annual event for quite a number of years.

We would put a schedule together of the various schools that wanted to be part of the scheme. On the day we arranged to visit each school where all the children who wanted their bikes post coding would bring their bikes on that day.

It wasn’t long after this photograph showing PC Graham at Woodhouse Primary School that we abandoned the idea of ‘stamping’ the post code into the bike frame. We had heard through various sources that in the Midlands the police were using the same method and a couple of bikes frames had been cracked through the dye stamps being hit with a hammer.

The inevitable happened of course with the bikes having to be replaced by the police. In those days with so many cycles being imported the metal under the pedals was a bit thinner than it used to be and some were a bit susceptible to cracking.

Following that incident and with funding from the Crime Prevention Panel we bought some electric engravers. This soon became a policy through the West Yorkshire Police for cycle post coding engravers had to be used.

We continued post coding bikes for quite a number of years at the schools. It proved so popular that some of our Neighbourhood Watch Scheme co-ordinators became involved organising similar events among their members.