1 in 6 (17%) who have a bike stolen don’t replace their bike
A further 1 in 4 reduce the amount they cycle following their bike being stolen
Over 40% of stolen bikes were locked with a cable lock
Underground car parks and homes are as bad as streets for theft.
As DCC say “This is just one example of the how campaigns that we run can improve the cycling experience in Dublin. It all relies however, on people taking personal responsibility for changing things. The more people we have involved, the more we can do.”
Between May 2013 and Feb 2015 there were 2976 cycle thefts in Bristol (LA area). Only 3% of reported bicycle thefts resulted in a prosecution/caution/fine, so it was good to have news of the recent arrest of 5 people and recovery of £50,000 suspected stolen bikes.
Our friends at Stolen Bikes have an interesting blog using information from London looking at Bike Thieves – Who Are They? Recommended reading. No surprises that the answer to why bicycle theft is so attractive to offenders because it’s a low risk, high reward crime.
Interesting that most thefts are during the day. They are possible because people rarely challenge suspicious behaviour. This astonishing video from Avon and Somerset Police of one of their PCSOs cutting various locks in every more brazen ways was filmed right in the middle of Broadmead. If you see something dodgy, do everyone a favour and ring 101 (or 999 if you’re sure someone’s beloved cycle is being nicked).
We’ve got a page on Bike Security with that may help you and your bike have a long and happy life together.
Over 2,000 bicycles are reported stolen every year in the Bristol area and less than 5% are recovered. Avon and Somerset Police have recently targeted the problem with two high profile raids on what they believe to be gangs of cycle thieves and a push to get cyclists to protect their bikes. In July five people were arrested and £50,000 of suspected stolen bikes were seized as part the year-long Operation Talisman.
– Register your bike with free of charge on the police approved bikeregister.com or immobilise.com. All forces check recovered bikes against these databases.
– Insure your bike with your home contents – but check for special conditions
– Replace quick release levers with security skewers – more difficult to remove
– Use a good quality D-lock with a straight key – only use cables to supplement
– Lock your bike in a well lit and busy area – vary where you lock it
– Check what you are locking to is secure and hasn’t been tampered with
– Lock the wheels and the frame – make it difficult for them
– Keep your lock off the ground – otherwise it will give purchase to hammering and cutting tools
– Face the keyhole to the ground – making it more difficult to pick
If your bike is unfortunately stolen then it’s worth reporting it on the Stolen Bikes site which has some good advice too. Also check with the list of reputable bike shops in Bristol selling second hand bikes. It would be worth contacting them with details of your bike so they can keep an eye out should someone try to sell it to them. It’s also worth doing a trawl of e-bay and gumtree to see if it pops up there.
Here are a couple of videos from Bristol about cycle security. New Yorker Hal Ruzal strolled round central Bristol grading the standard of bike locking for Avon & Somerset Police in 2010 in ‘Hal Grades Your Locks’. Then there’s an alarming video of how people in Broadmead just walk past someone nicking a bike in increasingly obvious and outrageous ways.
Buying a secondhand bike can be risky if you don’t know the person you’re buying from. The Better By Bike website has some good advice on choosing a bike, including a list of shops who refurbish and sell secondhand bikes. We’ve also got a list of bike shops.
Buying from a shop is a better guarantee that the bike has not been stolen, though it’s always worth asking if they have original receipts and have checked with the police register. It’s a good idea to check the frame number of any second hand bike you’re considering on both Bike Register – Check a bike and on Stolen Bikes UK – checkthatbike.co.uk. Both sites are full of sad reports of those who’ve had their pride and joy nicked.