Amnesty for missing Beryl bikes in Bournemouth and Poole

Beryl bikes in the back of a van Image copyright Dorset Police
Image caption People returning damaged or stolen bikes during the amnesty will not face any action

A week-long amnesty is taking place in a bid to recover bicycles missing from a bike share scheme in Dorset.

Thousands of pounds worth of Beryl bikes have already been recovered in an operation by police in Bournemouth and Poole.

Now the scheme's operator, in conjunction with police, is urging the public to return any remaining cycles anonymously.

The amnesty will run until Sunday 27 October.

The bike share scheme, which launched in June, should have about 1,000 bikes available to rent using a mobile app.

The company said "very few" bikes were classified as missing because integrated GPS technology allowed their location to be tracked.

It said police and Beryl staff had so far recovered 16 bikes which were held on private property.

Beryl CEO Phillip Ellis said: "We learned that some of the individuals who were holding the bikes didn't yet fully understand how the scheme worked.

"We want to use this amnesty to inform the wider community, those individuals who are taking bikes into private properties and the few that are vandalising bikes, that these actions are criminal offences.

"Our aim is ultimately to run the bike share scheme at full capacity."

Ch Insp Pete Browning of Dorset Police said he supported the amnesty but added: "If you cause damage to a bike or fail to return it to the scheme, this is a crime and we will investigate it in line with other similar offences."

People returning or reporting bikes can be assured no action will be taken against them or others in possession of a bike during the amnesty period, the company said.

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