Police in Edinburgh have been putting the brakes on bike crime in an initiative that has been running in the Capital since May.

Operation Cello was launched to tackle bike and vehicle-related crime in the west of the city.

So far, eight men have been reported to the Procurator Fiscal in connection with a total of 153 alleged crimes committed throughout Edinburgh, the majority of which are bike thefts.

It is estimated that the value of bikes stolen is around £70,000. So far, police have recovered bikes and component parts with a value of around £13,700.

Inspector Stevie Dolan, who has been leading the initiative, said: ‘Operation Cello has made great progress in curtailing the activities of a hard core of offenders, and in doing so has prevented further crime from taking place.

‘Bike theft has historically been a crime that is very difficult to solve, however we have targeted our resources towards gathering intelligence on known offenders, and the results so far have been very positive.

‘Of course, our main aim is to prevent bike theft from happening in the first place, and we would urge people to take measures to ensure that their bike stays safe.

‘Owners should always secure their bike properly to an immovable object, and take particular care to secure removable parts by locking the wheels and frame together.

‘In addition, they should have their bike marked, registered, and tagged by police.

‘There is a ready market for stolen bikes, and we would encourage people to think twice about buying a bike if they have any suspicions that it may be stolen.’

Inspector Dolan added: ‘Operation Cello will continue over the months ahead, and we are encouraging anyone who has any information about bike thieves operating in their area to contact Lothian and Borders Police on (0131) 311 3131, or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.’