Half of bike thefts in England & Wales go unreported, says ethical transport lobby

Up to 20,000 bikes stolen each month it's claimed

by Simon_MacMichael   February 2, 2010  

Ollie the tea-leaf

Up to half of thefts of bicycles in England and Wales go unreported to the police, according ethical motoring organisation and sustainable transport lobby group, the Environmental Transport Association (ETA).

According to latest figures from the Home Office, cycle theft rose 7% during the three months to September 2009, with 34,600 bikes reported stolen during that period, equivalent to more than 10,000 a month.

But the ETA clams that this understates the true extent of bike theft as much as 50% and estimates that the true figure is nearer 20,000 a month, saying that many owners do not report the crime because they are uninsured and believe that there is little prospect of recovering their bike.

One issue not mentioned by the ETA, however, is that official statistics tend to under-report bicycle theft anyway, since where the bicycle is taken as part of a more serious crime – a burglary or assault, for example – it will be categorised under that offence rather than the separate heading of bicycle theft.

According to the ETA’s director, Andrew Davis, said: "A need to economise during the recession has driven commuters out of their cars and onto bikes, and inevitably with more cyclists has come more cycle theft."

The ETA’s advice is that to deter thieves, cyclists should buy a lock costing around 10% of the value of their bike, ensuring that it has a Sold Secure rating, and points out that bike insurance can cost as little as 33p a week with quotes available through price comparison websites such www.cycleinsurance.co.uk.
 

9 user comments

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I used to see my old Falcon being ridden around. When I tried to report the theft of my suspension forks to the local police station I was told by the cop on the phone that he could probably tell me where they were. He refused to record the crime or give me a crime number and then hung up.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [1959 posts]
2nd February 2010 - 15:02

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I had a bike stolen last Monday night (25-Jan). Reported it to the police and got a crime number, and the letter telling me that the case was closed almost beat me back home! (Slight exaggeration) At least it adds to the statistic but there is little point really, and there isn't a lot the police can do really, is there?

posted by sfisher0 [6 posts]
2nd February 2010 - 17:21

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sfisher0, I had the same issue. I reported the crime, phoned up 2 days later and they said they were still investigating. When I got home from work there was a letter on the mat dated the day of the theft saying they had exhausted all lines of enquiry. They (the police force) just lie to you.

Yes they could do somthing, they could at least take notice and provide a visible presence. Instead of stopping kids who dont have hi viz jackets on they could focus on bike theft which accounts for a hell of a lot of crime in this country.

not all carbon is the same.

Jon Burrage's picture

posted by Jon Burrage [1076 posts]
2nd February 2010 - 17:51

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One of the biggest scams that seems to be going at the moment is people reportedly having their 'amazing bling' bikes stolen. There's a link to such a story on Road.cc today. If the press releases from the big bike manufacturers don't work, they can be sure that a photo of a 'stolen' amazing bike in all its glory is a nice way of getting exposure...

minnellium's picture

posted by minnellium [70 posts]
2nd February 2010 - 20:50

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Quote:
One of the biggest scams that seems to be going at the moment is people reportedly having their 'amazing bling' bikes stolen

it *was* stolen though, wasn't it? or are you saying it's an actual scam? i'm assuming you're talking about the pinarello. anyway, it's not like pinarello haven't been feeling the love on uk websites with their team sky connection. and that pic is obviously from the cycle show in london, not from pinarello.

purplecup's picture

posted by purplecup [232 posts]
2nd February 2010 - 21:01

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This is due to two reasons: Firstly, most people choose not to insure their bicycles, hence no need to report any theft to the police in order to get the insurance-required crime number; secondly, most people have no faith that reporting theft to the police will either result in return of said stolen bicycle or prosecution of the offender(s).

TiNuts's picture

posted by TiNuts [92 posts]
2nd February 2010 - 22:32

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minnellium wrote:
One of the biggest scams that seems to be going at the moment is people reportedly having their 'amazing bling' bikes stolen.

I had never thought of that, but it would explain why we've _never_ had any response from any of the manufacturers/importers that have suffered these thefts when we've suggested that some of our security products might actually help to avoid such incidents happening again. E.g. they often quote bikes being stolen from vans and we make the only Sold Secure-approved ground anchor (the "Torc" ground anchor) that is available with a fitting kit to go inside a van:

http://www.torc-anchors.com/torc-ground-anchor.php#fittingkits

We are only a small outfit and would struggle if a major item got nicked. Perhaps the manufacturers etc are big enough to not really care if something goes missing, which begs the question as to why they make a fuss about it ...unless what they really want is the publicity.

Hmm, food for thought.

Steve.

Stephen Briggs
Engineering Director, Pragmasis Ltd
http://www.SecurityForBikes.com 01827 286267

posted by Pragma [6 posts]
3rd February 2010 - 11:17

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for anyone that's interested we've reviewed the Torc Ground Anchor:

http://road.cc/content/review/2345-torc-ground-anchor-series-ii

and a jolly fine bit of kit it is too, as is the shed shackle:

http://road.cc/content/review/3496-pragmasis-shed-shackle

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7044 posts]
3rd February 2010 - 11:51

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Quote:
Perhaps the manufacturers etc are big enough to not really care if something goes missing

i don't think that's the case at all - we're talking about a pinarello getting nicked from a bike shop here, that's not something pinarello can control. let's not forget that the guy had a gun - ground anchor or not, if he threatens to shoot me i'm handing him the key.

Quote:
which begs the question as to why they make a fuss about it ...unless what they really want is the publicity.

if it was an $11,000 diamond necklace nicked at gunpoint from a jeweller's, that'd be news. an $11k bike getting nicked is news too, and we found out about it and reported it. pinarello didn't phone us up or send us a press release.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7044 posts]
3rd February 2010 - 11:55

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