Team of handy officers restore seven-year-old Sienna’s stolen bike to former glory
Written by Martin Steers on November 13, 2019
A seven-year-old girl devastated by the theft of her new bike is back in the saddle after her local neighbourhood policing officer stepped in to help.
Sienna, of Northampton, was left heartbroken after her bike was stolen earlier this year, and later found abandoned significantly damaged and what appeared beyond repair.
PC Matt Evans of the Northampton Neighbourhood Policing Team handed over the bike to the team at Cycl-opps – a Northamptonshire Police community intervention project which works with young offenders to refurbish recovered or seized bikes. The team restored Sienna’s bike to its former glory, and on October 29, the youngster was presented with her new set of wheels at Weston Favell Police Station by PC Evans.
PC Evans said: “It was a real pleasure to reunite Sienna with her bike. She was so excited to test her new wheels that she even had a quick ride around the recreation yard at the station! The bike had been severely damaged and abandoned, and to be honest we thought it was beyond repair…They even took the care not to damage the original stickers Sienna had decorated her bike with… We cannot thank them enough for all their hard work.”
As part of the refurbishment, the team replaced the brakes, seat and handlebars, and gave it an overall clean and polish. As with all projects, the bike was security marked to help deter future theft.
In partnership with Goodwill Solutions, the project provides young offenders with the opportunity to learn basic bike maintenance skills, enhance their employability and gain an ASDAN certification which is a recognised educational achievement if they attend for more than 20 hours of service.
The team work on bikes which have been recovered or seized by the Force. Once refurbished, the bikes are donated to worthy causes or sold at a reduced cost. The money raised is reinvested in the project with the aim of becoming self-funding.
Members of the public who come across abandoned bikes are encouraged to report these by calling 101 or reporting online via the website.
By Robert Mullane