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Issue:- 26 September 2013

3 month sentence for Liverpool cycle thief

A Liverpool bike thief has been jailed for 3 months after breaking into cycle racks at Birkdale and Ainsdale stations.

Philip Ronald Minshull, 41, of Robson Street, Liverpool appeared at Sefton Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, 10 September, where he pleaded guilty to 2 counts of burglary and breaching a community order.

The court heard Minshull had targeted the cycle racks, provided by Merseyrail for rail passengers to store their cycles securely, and had managed to force the doors at both Ainsdale and Birkdale to steal 2 bikes.

On Friday, 5 July 2013, Minshull broke into the storage facility at Ainsdale, forced open the roller shutters, and stole a Carrerra mountain bike worth about £260.

A week later Minshull carried out a similar crime at Birkdale station where he stole a bike worth about £300.

British Transport Police was called and investigating officers were soon able to identify Minshull from CCTV footage taken at the time of the offences. He was subsequently arrested and charged.

At court Minshull was sentenced to 3 months imprisonment for each burglary; to run concurrently; and was handed a further month sentence (also concurrent) for breaching a community order.

Sergeant Steve Lawman, of British Transport Police's Southport Neighbourhood Policing Team, said:- "The cycle racks provided by Merseyrail are designed to give cyclists a secure, key fob accessed, storage facility. And they have been hugely successful in reducing cycle thefts in the area. Sadly, for some criminals, the temptation is simply too great and it seems they will stop at nothing to try to profit from illegal activity. Cycle theft is a particular problem for the railway and BTP has recently launched Operation Wiggins in a bid to tackle those intent on stealing bikes. Our officers will be out and about during the coming weeks and months to deter and catch criminals; and to give crime reduction advice to rail passengers and cyclists. Cyclists too can help reduce thefts from the railway. By following a few simple steps they can help reduce their chances of being victims of crime:-

►  Always lock your bike whenever you leave it.

►  Make sure you lock all quick release wheels, as well as the frame, to a strong immovable object

►  Where possible, lock your bike in a busy area covered by CCTV

►  Make sure any locks used are good quality and up-to-date

►  Make the locks and the cycle itself difficult to manoeuvre

►  Do not put locks in contact with the ground where they become more vulnerable to thieves

►  Take a photograph and your bike and record you frame number

►  Mark your frame with your postcode in 2 areas which are generally hidden from view

►  Register you bike at:-

Some thieves will still target cycles, but if you follow the advice there is a much stronger likelihood that, if your bike is stolen, we will be able to recover it, catch the person responsible and return your property. Philip Minshull is now learning that BTP takes cycle theft extremely seriously and will not hesitate to put thieves before the courts at every available opportunity."


MERSEYSIDE Police are appealing for the public's help in tracing a man from Bootle who is wanted on a recall to prison for failing to keep to his probation requirements. Jack Quinton, aged 19, from the Bootle area was convicted for burglary in the Netherton area in June 2012. Quinton is described as being white, 5ft 11 ins tall of a medium build with shaved ginger hair and blue eyes. Officers searching for Quinton would urge him or anyone who knows of his whereabouts to call Merseyside Police on:- 0151 777 3049 or Crimestoppers anonymously on:- 0800 55 111.


FROM Friday, 27 September to Sunday 29 September 2013, the store team will be encouraging customers to make a donation to the appeal, with the money raised going to RSPCA centres in the local area.   Customers can choose to take part in the 'Round up to a £1' initiative, whereby the cost of their purchase is rounded up to a £1, with the difference being donated to the appeal. RSPCA charity wristbands are also available for customers to buy, which all proceeds going to charity.  Store manager, David Salisbury, says:- "Our local RSPCA centres do a fantastic job caring for and re-homing abandoned animals in Southport, but they need support to be able to continue to do that work. Our customers are animal lovers, and a generous bunch at that, so I'm sure they'll give what they can to the appeal."

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