A SCHEME to tackle thieves has seen police officers mark more than 200 children’s bikes with details to identify the owners.

Shildon police visited every school in the town as part of Operation Spoke.

The project sought to beat bike thieves following a number of cycle thefts in Shildon in recent months.

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Youngsters took their bikes to school where the police stamped them with a unique code so that their owners could be traced if they were stolen.

In the latest session last Friday (April 4) officers marked 42 bikes at St John’s School, on Jubilee Road.

Headteacher Andrew Farnell said: “We have being doing an awful lot on bikes full stop and it links in with the community safety work that we do.

“This scheme is to provide security markings on bikes to cut down on thefts from sheds and gardens. We are really pleased with the response.”

PCSO Michael Robson, who carried out the bike marking with PC Dave Littlefair at St John’s, said: “We marked 42 bikes at St John’s and it was a successful day.

“The project was part of Operation Spoke and it covered every school in Shildon. We marked more than 200 bikes in total.”

Youngsters at St John’s also took part in the Feat 1st scheme run by the cycling charity Sustrans. The pupils were able to take their bikes into school where minor repairs were carried out.