This month's Star Letter

A Detective Constable – and fellow mountain biker – working for Dyfed Powys Police is here to stop people getting their bikes taken.

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Mounted police

“I read with interest the letter from someone who’d had their MTB and their son’s MTB stolen. I am a Detective Constable working for Dyfed Powys Police (West Wales) as a Digital Media Investigator (DMI) and wonder if there are pointers that I can assist with if you were to look at writing up an article on the protect message?

“Often aspects such as over-sharing and privacy controls on Strava, Facebook and social media are the main cause of bikes being located by criminals and such is the accuracy of Strava, that unless a privacy zone is set up, the unsuspecting public often ‘advertise’ the exact location of their home address where they store their precious possessions.

“It does not take a super intelligent criminal to look at Google maps and right click to get the GPS co-ordinates of the start/finish of a ride. From this, they can even use Street View to do a recce of the intended target house to see what kind of security measures are in play.

“Police can request information from Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) that individuals may not be privy to, and by working with ISP’s there are often further lines of enquiry that can be followed up.

“I am writing as a fellow MTB’er and if I can do anything that stops people getting their bikes taken in the first place, that is the best part. If I can find and catch the criminals who are either stealing or ‘handling’ the stolen goods – fencing them on eBay or gumtree – then that is the icing on the cake.”

– Gareth Jordan, DC357 Dyfed Powys Police

Ed – Thanks for the advice Gareth, it makes sense to be vigilant online as well as physically when it comes to your bikes. We’ll take you up on your kind offer of help too, plenty has changed since we last talked about ways to protect your bike.

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