New data reveals just 15 per cent of bike thieves in South Ayrshire have been caught in the last five years.

Statistics attained from Police Scotland via a BBC freedom of information request show that there were 294 bike thefts in South Ayrshire reported to police since 2016.

Of those, just 45 were solved.

Police say the low numbers of bike thefts being solved is certainly not because of a lack of effort, but instead cite problems about not having enough forensic evidence as the bikes are rarely recovered.

Superintendent Derek Lang, from Ayrshire Division, said: “Police in Ayrshire are committed to thoroughly investigating any and all reported crimes and bike thefts are no exception.

“There has been a decreasing number of these thefts over the past five years, but a single theft still remains one too many.

“Our officers will pursue whatever forensic and CCTV opportunities are available in their efforts to track down any stolen bikes and find those responsible.”

Graham Moss, communications manager for cycling charity, Sustrans Scotland, advised cyclists how to limit the risk: “Over half a million bikes are stolen in the UK each year. Many cyclists – myself included – have experienced this.

“Returning to find your bike no longer where you left it is an awful feeling, but there is much that can be done to reduce the risk.

“Always keep your bike securely locked, and the better the quality of lock, the safer your bike will be.

“Two locks are better than one.”

Graham added: “The Sustrans website has loads of practical advice.”