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An anti-theft initiative led by police in north Sefton has been hailed a runaway success.   More than 100 cyclists brought their bikes along to Formby police station and a bike shop in Ainsdale earlier this month to get them registered for free.   And since then, neighbourhood officers have offered a similar service to school children who own mobile phones with more than 250 pupils at Formby High and Range High registering their smart phones.

The initiative, led by neighbourhood inspector Jim Atherton, involves people recording the make, model and serial number of their bike, lap top of mobile onto a free online database called ‘’.   The database matches registered property to the owner and allows the police to search it whenever they recover lost or stolen belongings.   Cyclists who registered their bikes at the two surgeries were given ‘Immobitags’ which are chips that can be embedded into the bike’s frame containing all the owner’s information.   And so many high school pupils wanted to register their mobiles, officers are considering running similar lunchtime sessions at other local schools in the near future.

Inspector Atherton said: “It has been great to see so many members of the public come to these sessions and take up the offer of free crime prevention measures. People work hard to have nice things like bikes and phones and it can be really annoying and upsetting if these things get stolen by opportunist thieves.   “By registering your property on a police-approved website, you are increasing the chances of getting it back if it is stolen, and also helping the police when we stop people we suspect of having stolen goods.

“A quick scan of the database tells us who the rightful owner is and whether the person we might have detained should be in possession of it or not.   “Registering with Immbolise also acts as a deterent as you can mark you bike or computer with a sticker to make it clear to any would-be thief what you have done.If they have any sense they will leave it well alone.”

Inspector Atherton added: “The bike surgeries were a big hit and people queued in the cold to make the most of what was being offered. The funding came from Sefton Council and the bike shop even offered free bike safety checks at the same time.

“I would encourage people who haven’t taken advantage of this initiative yet to look out for the next ones we run and help us make life as difficult as possible for criminals who want to steal our things.”

For more information about how to protect your home and possessions visit and follow the Immobilise link.

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