THE WORST PLACES FOR BIKE THEFT
Sunday 21st July 2019
Honestly, we don't really trust leaving our bike anywhere unless we're actually riding it! Having your bike stolen really does hurts, it has happened to us and it does get to you. Having a decent lock or two helps but just being wary of where you leave it is important too, you can't make your bike an easy target for thieves. The people over at Yellow Jersey have created a very handy and at the same time depressing map showing all the bike thefts that have been reported between April 2018-19, all 104, 768 of them!!!
Specialist cycling insurer Yellow Jersey has worked with the British Transport Police to reveal the most likely places in the UK (excluding Scotland) to have your bike stolen. According to data UK Police data, the City of London and the university cities of Cambridge and Oxford are the worst in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for bicycle thefts.
The City of London is an anomaly on the data as so few people live there and therefore the rate of bike theft appears much higher than it is. If you took into account the 300,000 people who commute into the city each day, it would appear much lower on the list. The worst spot across the country was Cambridge train station which had 113 bikes stolen over the 12-month period followed by St Albans station carpark in Hertfordshire and West Bargate high street in Southampton, where 93 were taken in each place.
The crime figures, which are based on statistics from 351 districts and calculated per capita over the last 12 months, showed overall 104,768 thefts were reported and the past six months mapped on a nation-wide heat map. The Metropolitan Police alone received 21,945 accounts of bikes being stolen during the last year and the British Transport Police reported 6,395, highlighting how transport hubs are a popular spot for thieves.
The riskiest places to leave bicycles in Greater London are Kingston University campus and Victory Park, part of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Other top cities for bike theft were revealed as Newport, Chichester and Warwick. The ‘safest’ places – or the areas where the lowest number were stolen - to leave bikes according to the data are West Devon, Torridge and the Forest of Dean.
Superintendent Mark Cleland, National lead for cycle crime said: “We are currently working with our partners on a number of initiatives that will contribute to reducing cycle crime across the UK. “Prevention is always better than cure and so it’s really important that cyclists consider how they can reduce the risk of becoming a victim of cycle crime by considering using the best rated ‘secured by design’ locks, how those locks are used and where and what they are locked to. Understanding where cycle crime happens will also help inform cyclists as to where best to secure their property and of course making sure there is insurance in place helps if the worst happens. Don’t forget that by registering your bike, if it is lost or stolen, there is a greater chance of it being recovered”
A supporting study of 2,000 Brits carried out by Yellow Jersey found over one quarter of the nation have had a bike stolen and 53 per cent know someone who has been a victim of bike theft. Of those, six in 10 never managed to get their bike back, and one in 10 who did, said the bicycle was in an unusable condition. The average cost of a stolen bike was found to be £327.55 and 67 per cent said the incident affected them both financially and emotionally.
Other consequences included many cyclists not being able to get to work or having to get a lift from a colleague, cancelling social plans due to not being able to get place and one in five had to spend money on public transport. Understandably over half of bicycle theft victims felt angry, annoyed and stressed and one sixth even felt targeted.
One quarter had their bike stolen from their own garden, while one sixth had it taken from locked outdoor storage such as a garage or shed and one in 10 found their bike pinched from outside their workplace. Over one third believe the crime of bike theft has increased in Britain over the past five years and therefore 37 per cent don’t feel safe locking up their bike where they live. And over half admitted the amount of theft in their area has put them off buying a bike.
As a result, 83 per cent of those polled want more to be done to tackle bike theft in their area and three in 10 said they would buy a second-hand bike over brand new due to fear of it being stolen. One in 10 victims even saw their stolen wheels being used in the local area and a further 12 per cent found their bike for sale online. Of those witnessing bike thefts, 22 per cent said they would try and stop a thief, while 38 per cent admitted they would take a photo but not confront them. A further 55 per cent would phone the police and one in 10 would resort to social media to spread the word.
Emily Conrad-Pickles, Head of Marketing at Yellow Jersey said: “It’s a sad reality that people are put off cycling due to the levels of theft, in particular at a time where society is trying to encourage greener methods of transport – both for the environment and public health. We hope these theft maps will allow people to look at the crime hot spots near to where they live and work and perhaps help them to plan a safer place to leave their bike. Home insurance is often insufficient cover if your bicycle is stolen outside of the home and cyclists should consider getting specialist cover for their bicycle if they are looking to leave them locked up outside of the home to take away the worry of theft – which will likely also cover them for Public Liability. We require all our policy holders to use either Sold Secure Gold or Silver standard rated locks to help reduce their risk of becoming a victim of bike crime in the first place.”
To view Yellow Jersey’s heat map of bike theft in the UK and find out what your area is like click here: https://www.yellowjersey.co.uk/bike-theft-heatmap/
Top 10 areas for bike thefts per person:
City of London
Hammersmith and Fulham