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Operation Spoke is a bike theft reduction campaign led by Durham Constabulary, working in partnership with Durham County Council and Darlington Borough Council, Local Motion, Safe Durham Partnership and cycle retailers in County Durham and Darlington. 

The scheme aims to significantly reduce cycle crime by uniquely marking and registering cycles in County Durham and Darlington. Success of other property marking schemes at reducing the overall levels of acquisitive crime is well documented and now we are expanding this concept to cycles.

The benefits of marking and registering cycles is that it offers a proven deterrent to would be thieves.

It also means that cycles can easily be identified by police should they ever be stolen or go missing. Easy identification means that cycles can be quickly reunited with their rightful owners and thieves can be quickly arrested and brought to justice.

You can get your bike security marked at a number of cycle shops around the force area, or at an organised event hosted by your neighbourhood policing team.

To help improve your chances of being reunited with your bike in the event of it being stolen, register your property on the national property register, or on 

Cycle safety top tips

  • Always lock your bike, even if you are just leaving it for a couple of minutes
  • Use locking devices (chains, padlocks, D-locks) that are endorsed by the Secured by Design initiative
  • Make sure it is locked to an immovable object- a bike rack or ground anchor, even if being stored in the garden shed
  • Remove ‘quick-release’ parts – do not leave them attached to the bike
  • Lock a wheel and the frame to the immovable object
  • Mark your bike with one of the recommended products

Keep safe while cycling

  • Make sure you are visible to other road users
  • Wear a helmet to reduce the risk of head injury
  • Be aware of all the other road users around you
  • Look behind you before you turn, overtake or stop
  • Use arm signals before you turn right or left
  • Pay attention to all traffic lights and road signs
  • Don’t ride on the pavement unless there's a sign saying that you can
  • On busy or narrow roads, don’t cycle next to another person
  • When overtaking parked cars, watch out for car doors opening suddenly and allow room to pass safely
  • Don’t use headphones while cycling
  • Never use a mobile phone while cycling

Remember it is against the law to:

  • Cycle through red lights, including lights at pedestrian crossings
  • Cycle on pavements, unless there' is a sign showing that the pavement has been converted to a cycle path
  • Cycle the wrong way up a one-way street, unless there's a sign showing that cyclists can do so
  • Ride across pedestrian crossings, unless it's a toucan crossing with a sign saying that cyclists can do so