POLICE are encouraging young people to get on their bikes, by using unclaimed property.

Youths who attend the Offbeat Bike Club, which meets weekly at Gateshead East Police station, learn how to maintain and mend old cycles as well as enjoying exploring local bike tracks.

Police have helped by delving into their property store and offering the group bikes which have been recovered by police, but cannot be identified and returned to their owners.

Three such bikes have been lovingly restored, and will be handed over to Ruth Johnston, the area community education worker for Springwell estate, on Wednesday.

More than a dozen young people aged 11-16 years are members of the club, which started a year ago, and is run by PC Phil Spencer, community education worker Jeff Thurgood, and volunteer Mick Stephenson.

PC Spencer said: "The project provides an excellent opportunity for Gateshead youngsters to get involved in an outdoor activity which will improve their physical fitness.