More than 100 stolen bicycles have been handed out to NHS staff after there owners failed to come forward.

The bikes had been confiscated by the Met Police from criminals, however the force had been unable to return them to their rightful owners.

The Police teamed up with bicycle charity Pro Bike Service CIC to arrange an event for the stolen bicycles to be given to NHS staff.

Staff at Barts Health NHS Trust – which runs Whipps Cross Hospital – were invited to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford this week where over 100 bikes were handed out.

The bicycles, which are all believed to have been stolen, have been in police storage for considerable time and would otherwise have been left unused and eventually scrapped.

Bike Pro Service CIC serviced and repaired all of the bicycles for free.

Sergeant Jo Stephens, Central East Command Unit, said: “Sadly, efforts to trace the owners of these bicycles have been without success, or no-one has ever come forward to claim them. Some of the bikes have been in storage for years.

“The project came about after we publicised a warrant we executed in Hackney in 2020 where hundreds of stolen bikes were recovered. Those are not the ones that are being given away here, but we were contacted on the back of the publicity by Pro Bike Service CIC with an idea for re-distributing old bikes in long-term storage. It seemed like a great idea to give them to people and for them to be put to good use again.”

Lawrence Mohammed, founder of Pro Bike Service CIC, said: “I believe it’s vital we tackle crime at multiple levels, from early intervention with disadvantaged children, restorative justice and effective rehabilitation for offenders, to prevention through bike marking and the return of stolen bikes where possible.

“When I saw the work Jo and her team were doing I thought it aligned really well with our guiding principles. We had already gifted our entire bicycle stock to the NHS staff at Newham, Whipps Cross, Royal London and Homerton hospitals in 2020, so this seemed like an opportunity to do even more to help support those on the frontline who support us."