POLICE Scotland has teamed up with a professional mountain biker to offer prevention advice as part of a campaign to reduce the number of bike thefts occurring in Scotland.

Scotty Laughland, who has competed across the world and creates mountain bike content on his social media channels, filmed a series of videos to discuss the impact bike theft had on him personally and professionally.

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He was joined by PC Graeme Scott to discuss the security measures the public can take to deter such crimes happening to them.

The 2020 Cycle Scotland Cycle Monitoring report showed that 45% of Scotland have access to a bike. Between April 2022 and March 2023, almost 4,000 bikes a year are reported stolen to Police Scotland.

In May 2022, Scotty himself became a victim of bike theft when his workshop in Stirlingshire was broken into and £50,000 worth of bikes, cycling equipment and tools were stolen from within.

Ahead of the UCI World Championship cycling events that will see thousands of professional cyclists and cycling enthusiasts visit Scotland, from Thursday, 3 August, three videos will be published on Police Scotland’s social media channels over the course of the next three weeks to highlight to the public how they can safeguard their bikes and equipment.

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The first video, issued today, will focus on the break-in that happened to Scotty’s workshop and the consequences this incident had on his ability to work and how he viewed his own security.

The next two videos will feature crime prevention and security advice to help stop members of the public falling victim to bike thefts.

Superintendent Claire Dobson from Police Scotland’s Partnerships, Preventions and Community Wellbeing Division, said: “We know that cycling is a popular form of exercise and transport in Scotland, bikes are also an attractive option for opportunistic criminals looking for an easy target to steal and subsequently profit from.

“We now also see high-value bikes being stolen to order by organised crime groups and it is absolutely essential that we equip the public with all the necessary advice and guidance they need to safeguard their bikes and cycling equipment.

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“I am grateful to Scotty Laughland for working alongside us to create these videos and would urge not only Scotland’s communities, but all of those visiting the country for the UCI World Championship cycling events, to view this content and our crime prevention advice to ensure they know how they can best secure their bikes and wherever they are stored.”

Scotty Laughland added: "The impact of bike theft for myself and my family has been far reaching. I would advise anyone to take the advice offered by Police Scotland and ensure your bikes and equipment are secured at home, whilst travelling and during use."