THE operators of the Beryl Bikes scheme are running an amnesty week, in a bid to return their fleet to full capacity.

Last week the Echo reported how damaged or stolen Beryl Bikes worth more than £15,000 had been recovered in a police operation across the Bournemouth and Poole area.

From today an amnesty will be in operation – meaning anyone with a Beryl Bike in their possession is asked to return it to their closest bay.

Members of the public are being asked to anonymously report or return misused, vandalised or stolen bikes.

No action will be taken against anyone returning or reporting, or others in possession of a bike, during the amnesty period.

Beryl chief executive officer Phillip Ellis said: "In recent months we have seen a few instances of misuse of our bike share scheme.

"We want to use this amnesty to inform the wider community, those individuals who are taking bikes into private properties and the few that are vandalising bikes, that these actions are criminal offences.

"Our aim is ultimately to run the bike share scheme at full capacity.”

Beryl are the first bike share operator in the UK to hold an amnesty in response to vandalism of the scheme.

Last week's police operation resulted in the recovery of 16 bikes from a number of private properties.

Since their introduction, Bournemouth and Poole's Beryl Bikes have been cycled the equivalent of twice around the world.

There are 1,000 bikes and hundreds of parking bays across the conurbation.

However, misuse and damage to the community bikes has been reported on a number of occasions.

Mr Ellis said: "Beryl is very proud to serve the community and overall the majority of people in Bournemouth and Poole have been using the Beryl bike share service as intended, we’ve been thrilled with the positive responses received from those using our bikes to cycle to work or for leisure.”

Chief Inspector Pete Browning of Dorset Police said: “Our role is to prevent and detect crime, therefore, we support any initiative which is reducing theft and criminal damage in our communities.

"Recently we’ve worked with Beryl to provide advice around crime prevention and ways to reduce opportunities for the scheme to be misused by a small minority.

“If you cause damage to a bike or fail to return it to the scheme, this is a crime and we will investigate it in line with other similar offences.”

The amnesty runs from Monday, October 21, up until Sunday, October 27.

n Residents can also anonymously report bikes that are held in private property, vandalised or stolen by calling Beryl on 020 3003 5044 (7am-9pm Monday to Sunday), by email at, or reaching their local support team directly in-app.