Survey of UK cyclists claims 2 out of 3 bikes are stolen from homes

£10,000 on offer to designers to help tackle issue of residential bike thefts

by Simon_MacMichael   January 20, 2011  

Wheel from stolen bike © Simon MacMichael.JPG

A new survey published as part of a Home Office initiative claims that more than two in three bicycles stolen in Britain are taken from in or around the cyclist’s home, and that one in four victims stop cycling altogether following such a theft.

The research which reported on last month, involving 800 cyclists, was conducted by the Design Against Crime Research Centre as part of its Residential Bike Theft Challenge initiative, and was aimed at highlighting the extent of the issue as well as prompting the need for designers to dream up solutions to the problem.

Researchers found that one in two bicycles reported stolen were taken from the garden of the victim, nearly one in five from outside the building but on the premises, and one in six from an outbuilding such as a greenhouse or garden shed.

Now, £10,000 is being offered to four teams of designers to help them develop innovative new approaches to tackling domestic bicycle theft. Applications should be submitted by 3 February 2011, with further details available on the Design Out Crime website.

Winners will be able to work alongside the Design Council for four weeks to help refine their proposals, and are invited to “either come up with a new idea and develop a prototype, take an existing concept or idea from an early stage to a solution that can be manufactured, or develop a way to more effectively support an existing solution in the marketplace such as branding, packaging or website design.”

Although police recorded crime statistics show 109,851 bicycle thefts in England and Wales in 2009/10, that understates the true number, partly because any crimes go unreported or are covered under other offences, for example when a bicycle is stolen as part of a house burglary; according to the more robust British Crime Survey, there were an estimated 485,913 incidents in 2009/10.

5 user comments

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This might seem fussy but some of the statistics are presented badly in this article.
'one in two' = 'half'!

posted by jwr222 [9 posts]
20th January 2011 - 18:05


I keep my good bikes in the cellar.


posted by OldRidgeback [2586 posts]
20th January 2011 - 22:10


OldRidgeback wrote:
I keep my good bikes in the cellar.

Interesting... Thinking What's your address? Wink

simonmb's picture

posted by simonmb [360 posts]
21st January 2011 - 11:05


it would help if the Police took it seriously and investigated it properly when trying to find bike theives.
They need to realise that the people involved in these thefts are often involved in many other crimes too - at least that's my guess.
These people often are taking stuff that they know they can sell on quickly, irrespective of what it is...

posted by Spongmonkeys [1 posts]
23rd January 2011 - 13:20


Translucent sticky-backed plastic sheeting, sold by hardware stores for bathroom conversions and the like, will prevent the toe-rags from seeing your bikes through your shed/outhouse/garage windows, and costs less than a tenner. Not a substitute for a good lock, but will probably do more to lower your overall chance of being burglarised than the sort of form-before-function dross these sorts of design competitions usually attract. Still, maybe if one were to package it nicely, give it a marketable name like, say, "Tension Sheeting", it might sell...

posted by handlebarcam [545 posts]
24th January 2011 - 22:16