Bike theft

Bike theft mostly affects the poorest in UK society (or at least in England and Wales).  This is the outcome of the latest survey on cycle theft.  Most people who have their bikes stolen have an income of less than £10,000/year.  This is of itself a surprise until you work out that a lot of these will be students or children.  My experience of cycling is that its a middle class pursuit.  The biggest hotspots for bike theft are the big cities and university town.  This is hardly a surprise.  Its always been said that bikes are stolen almost to order in Cambridge and sold in Oxford or visa versa.

Here are what the survey says.

  • Most thefts take place during the week.  Again not a surprise, the bike is either out in use or is more vulnerable since its owner is out.
  • Most thefts take place in flats.  Again this is not a surprise since there is no where to leave it except the stairwell in most cases and taking the bike into your flat when its wet or fills the place up is unacceptable to most users.
  • 40% of thefts took place when the bike was locked up.  This figure this misleading though since it excludes bikes locked in sheds.  The figures also do not include cycles stolen as part of a break in.
  • Higher bike theft took place amongst students and in lower income areas.
  • Under 35’s were more likely to be victims than those over 35.

What’s interesting is the trend by whatever measure is downwards (graph below).

ons bike theft dataI’m very lucky not to have had any bikes I’ve owned stolen ever.  My daughter has had bits nicked off hers.  I often leave my bike outside shops for very short periods unlocked, when I go to get something.  I got away with it so far.  My advice is leave it somewhere public, have a good lock, take it into your flat and not have quick release wheels.


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