A pop-up shop in Northampton’s Grosvenor Centre set up to sell bikes fixed by young offenders sold out within just minutes of it opening.
Shoppers keen to grab a Christmas bargain cleared the shop out of bikes this morning (Friday), with the sale raising around £600.
The shop was set up as part of Northamptonshire Police’s Cycl-opps project, which sees young offenders given the chance to learn basic bike repair techniques in the hope their new skills will help them secure work and turn away from crime.
Inspector Dina Sunderland, who helped set up Cycl-opps, said: “We’re absolutely delighted with the way the event went.
“We had 21 bikes to be sold and we didn’t know what would go, but there were people queuing at the door before we opened and within 15 minutes, virtually all the bikes had been sold.
“We’d really like to do it again in the New Year and the Grosvenor Centre have offered us the use of the shop again, which is great.”
The £600 raised will be reinvested into the Cycl-opps project.
The bikes sold at the shop had all either been recovered or seized by Northamptonshire Police and all possible enquiries had been made to find their owners before they were put into the Cycl-opps project.
If the bikes had not been used in the project, they would have been disposed of.
Pc Gareth Cox, who helps to train the young offenders on the scheme, said: “The event was a celebration of the time and effort the young offenders have given to the project.
“It’s taken them several weeks of work through a training scheme we’ve given them to really understand how a bike should work and they’ve got the bikes to a stage where we can sell them.”
Bikes on sale at the shop started from as little as £10. Police officers were also at the event to offer crime prevention advice and a raffle was held in aid of head injuries charity, Headway Northampton CIO (reg. charity no 1158332). Representatives from the One Punch – One Life campaign were also on hand to educate shoppers about the consequences of violence.
The Cycl-opps project was created by Northamptonshire Police in partnership with Goodwill Solutions, Growing Together and the Northamptonshire Youth Offending Service.
It is based in Moulton Park at a workshop donated by Community Interest Company, Goodwill Solutions.
It is hoped the project will become self-funding through the sale of the bikes.
The draw for the Headway Northampton CIO raffle takes place on December 8.