The Wokingham Paper

Gardener who tried to hand in abandoned bike shocked after being turned away by Police

Mr Bell found the bike after it had been thrown over a garden wall. Picture: Joseph Bell

A LOCAL man was left confused this week when Police wanted nothing to do with an abandoned bike he’d found.

Joseph Bell — who was doing some gardening work for a client in Earley — found a bicycle which had been thrown over his client’s garden wall. 

Mr Bell said: “The bike is in good condition, with only one part broken — it looks fixable.

“I went down to Lower Earley Police Station and I was shocked because they weren’t the least bit interested.

“I thought it was so strange that they didn’t look at the bike or check their records to see if it had been stolen.

“Instead, they just told me to get rid of it, but I’d like to be satisfied that the bike wasn’t involved in any criminal activity — or even to help return it to its owner.” 

Mr Bell says he left the station frustrated, having only been given a lost property insurance notice form.

“I did ask if I should leave my details with them, to prove that I reported the bike found for future reference, but I was told no,” he added. “They wanted nothing to do with it.”

A spokesperson from Thames Valley Police said: “From October 1, 2018, all forces across the UK ceased accepting lost property reports. Members of the public are encouraged to report the loss to a relevant agency. 

“Mobile phones, high value jewellery and possessions, cash, firearms, ammunition, explosives, chemicals, toxins, poisons, drugs and medicine should continue to be handed in to the police so that we can either trace the owner or deal with the item safely.

“The police do not accept found bicycles. Residents can check whether the bike has been reported stolen at www.bikeregister.com.”

However, the bike Mr Bell found had not been registered via the national cycle database. This means it cannot be traced if it was lost or stolen. 

Dave Young, from Dave’s Cycle Works, Wokingham said: “The database works by customers registering their own bikes after purchase.

“It’s not something a bike shop can do for them, or happens automatically.

“So the issue is whether people get round to registering their bikes, and how much cycle shops tell customers about the database.”

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