MOTORCYCLE retailers in Dudley and Halesowen are among six in the region offering free DNA marking for bikes as part of a police scheme to help put the brakes on thieves.

Black Country Motorcycles in Dudley Port and Streetbike in Halesowen are offering the service as part of a scheme launched by West Midlands Police which is believed to be the first of its kind in the country.

The initiative has been launched as the force has experienced issues with thieves stealing 125cc motorcycles and breaking them up for parts which are then sold on - making them difficult to trace and reunite with their owners, if recovered.

Each of the dealers taking part in the scheme has 150 marking kits, paid for by money under the Proceeds of Crime Act, which allows the police to seize and sell criminals' assets and then plough the money back into fighting crime.

Normally sold for around £30, the kits consist of a bottle of DNA fluid with which each part of the bike can be painted. The fluid then dries and is not detectable by the naked eye but contains micro dots which are then unique to that bike.

As part of the police scheme - the motorcycle dealers will mark the motorbikes for free and then register each bike on a dedicated website.

If the bike or any part of it is then stolen and later recovered anywhere in the world officers will be able to identify the owner and gather intelligence about where the stolen bikes are being traded.

Sergeant Andy Gregory, from the force’s Crime Reduction department, said: "We are working tirelessly to stop motorcycle theft in the West Midlands and to shut down the market for the sale of stolen vehicle parts.

"The more bikes we can get marked, the bigger the deterrent for would-be bike thieves and the more likely we can track where bike parts are being stolen from and sent to.

"This knowledge helps us catch bike thieves and handlers as well as helping us reunite owners with their bikes if they get stolen. I would encourage as many motorcycle owners as possible to make an appointment to get their bikes marked.

To take advantage of the free offer, motorbike owners can call Black Country Motorcycles on 0121 522 2525 or Streetbike on 0121 506 6800 to make an appointment to get their bike marked.