A series of undercover ‘sting’ operations carried out by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) are delivering positive results as part of a crackdown against local bike thieves.

So-called ‘trap bikes’ are GMP’s latest weapon to target thieves operating across Trafford and Salford. Since January 2015 trap bikes have been deployed in numerous occasions across residential areas, so far resulting in eight convictions with three more awaiting court appearances.

Those convicted include a 37 year old male who pleaded guilty to theft and two counts of possession of cannabis, receiving a community order, £85 fine, curfew and electronic tagging.

A suspected bike thief that was arrested in possession of a lock knife is yet to appear in court.

Each trap bike is marked with forensic SmartWater which is invisible except under ultraviolet (UV) light and marks the skin and clothing of offenders if touched. Any thieves who steal a trap bike can therefore be directly linked with their crime.

SmartWater technology has also been given to hundreds of residents across Trafford and Salford so they can mark their personal possessions. Anything marked can be identified if stolen and so acts as a powerful deterrent to thieves.

Superintendent Mark Kenny from Greater Manchester Police’s Salford Division said: “Unfortunately there are people out there who believe that it is acceptable to steal the property of others. We will continue to use every tool at our disposal to find and bring these people to justice. Any bike could potentially be a trap bike, so offenders need to be aware that they face a far greater risk of prosecution if they attempt to commit bike theft in Trafford and Salford.

Phil Cleary, Chief Executive of SmartWater, said: “Greater Manchester Police have had great success using trap bikes and I hope that these convictions serve as a deterrent to other would-be offenders.”