Bike theft is a major problem in the UK. It can cause considerable disruption to your daily life, especially if you’re one of the growing numbers of people who cycle to and from work, school, or university. With more people using bikes and an estimated 300,000 bicycles stolen each year, working out how to prevent bike theft has become more important than ever.
According to the Office of National Statistics, a person commits bike theft if they take a pedal cycle for their own or another’s use without the owner’s consent. Or other lawful authority or ride a pedal cycle knowing it to have been taken without such authority.
Crime Survey for England and Wales
The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) has collected data about bike theft since its introduction in 1981. It’s a relatively minor offence, accounting for approximately 5% of all crimes covered by the survey, and the number of reported bike thefts has declined since 2012.
However, that doesn’t mean we forget about security. Many thieves are opportunists and are more likely to take a bike if it’s easy to do so without getting caught. The cost of bikes has increased, too, giving people more incentive to try and sell them. The more secure your bike, the less likely it is to be stolen, so to prevent it, there are several steps you can take to secure it and make it less attractive to thieves.
First and foremost, always lock your bike when you’re not using it. Investing in a high-quality bike lock, such as a D-lock or a U-lock, is difficult to cut or break. Make sure to lock your bike to a solid, immovable object, such as a bike rack or a lamp post. Avoid locking your bike to anything that can be easily cut or broken, such as a chain-link fence or a signpost.
Another important step to prevent bike theft is registering your bike with a national bike registration scheme. One is Immobilise, a free database where you can register your valuables, including bicycles. Both individuals and businesses can use it. Registered items and their ownership details appear on the Police National Property Database. You can also use a specialist scheme like Bike Register (also known as The National Cycle Database).
This will help to deter thieves and make it easier for the police to track down your stolen bike. You should also photograph your bike and record its serial number and other unique identifying features. By taking these steps, you can reduce the chances of your bike being stolen and increase your chances of getting it back if it is stolen.
Additional Security for your Bike
You can also make your bike less attractive to thieves by using a bike cover, which will conceal its make and model. Also, use a steering lock or a frame lock to provide your bike with an additional layer of security.
Another tip to deter bike thieves is to park in a well-lit, well-trafficked area. Thieves often target bikes that are parked in isolated or poorly lit areas. If possible, park your bike in a secure bike storage area or locker.
Additionally, if you are storing your bike at home, keep it in a secure place, such as a locked garage or shed. If you don’t have access to a secure storage area, consider installing a bike stand or rack in your home.
Invest in a Camera and Insurance
A camera will deter anyone who’s thinking about stealing a bike. CCTV footage can be used to identify criminals and stolen goods. It’s also a way of alerting the public to the incident and may trigger memories from witnesses with useful information.
As some bikes have become very expensive, it would be a good idea to take on bicycle insurance, and although not compulsory, it provides bike owners with that added peace of mind. Your home contents insurance policy might cover theft or vandalism (check the policy details to find out). However, your bike may not be covered when riding or if you secure it to a public rack or shelter. Always read the terms and conditions so you can make an informed decision.
Tamstar’s Experienced Team
If you ride regularly, you’ll inevitably need to store your bike in a public or workplace. And while you’ll never be able to guarantee your bike won’t get stolen, there are plenty of precautions you can take to reduce the chance of it happening.
Here at Tamstar, we have a wealth of experience in providing bike shelters, compound stands, and racks for various organisations, which include Schools, Colleges, Universities, Hospitals, Storage & distribution warehouses, and manufacturing sites.
Please feel free to call one of our experienced team to discuss your requirements. In some cases, we even offer a free on-site visit.