THERE have been nearly 200 bike thefts in south Worcestershire in the last six months say West Mercia Police.

A police spokesman said: "South Worcestershire has had a total of 178 bike thefts in last six months. 116 of these were in Worcester. The 178 for South Worcestershire is a 6.6 per cent increase on the same period last year. The 116 Worcester thefts compares to 101 in the same period last year."

The figures were released as an 18-year-old suspect in some of the thefts is scheduled to appear in Worcester Magistrates Court on Friday, July 18, charged with three theft of pedal cycles and two fraud offences relating to selling on the bikes.

Advice issued by police includes keeping bikes locked up, using a good quality lock, not leaving bikes in public racks overnight or for long periods of time if possible and, when storing them at home, considering how secure the shed.

Bike security marking is taking place at SOSFest this Saturday (July 12) between 11am and 3pm on Pitchcroft in Worcester.