A policeman has developed a high-tech bicycle lock which can sense when a thieves steal a bike and even alerts CCTV cameras to their getaway route.
An alarm triggers a CCTV camera. Picture taken by Russell Sach
The University of Portsmouth, which helped Pc Dave Fairbrother bring his device to fruition, is currently trialling the £6,000 system.
The device's motion sensor sends a text message to a security office when the owner locks the bike at a special rack.
A silent alarm then triggers a CCTV camera and alerts the security staff.
The camera then zooms in on the bicycle's location.
The security staff, who can view the live CCTV footage, can send out a guard if necessary.
Pc Fairbrother, from Hampshire Constabulary, said: "Bicycle theft is a huge problem and, in the past, it was often luck if a bicycle thief was caught.
"The CCTV cameras could be pointing the wrong way, for example.
"But with this technology we will always be watching and any attempted theft of locked bicycles will result in the thief being captured on camera.
"The motion sensor lock will also act as a deterrent.
"I want to make criminals think twice before targeting us. I want them to think: 'Don't go on university grounds, they have got excellent technology'."
The designers, SOS Response of Winchester, hope the system will be adopted by universities, councils and businesses nationwide.
Managing director Leonard Weaver said: "This solution to bike thefts is unique.
"It is the first of its kind and has huge potential for a wide range of applications."