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Study of 82,000 bike thefts reveals worst locations - and they're not all in London...

If you’re getting a new set of wheels for Christmas, or you want to protect the ones you have, be careful when you park it.

Extra security is advisable when leaving your bike at railway stations, shopping centres, car parks and hospitals, according to a new analysis of police crime figures.

Bicycle insurer Protect Your Bubble says the most likely place your bike will be nicked is at a railway station - the figures coming after studying the locations of nearly 82,000 bicycle thefts.

During the period in question, the 12 months leading up to September 2016, 227 bikes were stolen every day. Only 28 per cent of reports led to the bike being found and the thieves caught.

Of the cycle theft hotspots, the location with the highest theft rates in the UK is Elder Gate at Milton Keynes railway station.

The second worst is Meridian Square in London which borders Stratford rail station and the Westfield shopping centre.

Rob Basinger, head of the UK division of Protect Your Bubble, said: “Bike theft is a nationwide issue, but there are some streets that stand out as having a particular problem. Commuters leaving bikes at railway stations for any length of the time stand a chance of being targeted.

“If you have to leave your bike on the street then make sure it is locked securely and, as with any item of value, if you think it may be at risk then consider taking out insurance for extra peace of mind.”  

The top five bicycle theft hotspots in the UK are:

  1.  Elder Gate, Milton Keynes
  2.  Meridian Square, Newham
  3.  Station Road, Cambridge
  4.  Ring Road North, Birmingham
  5.  Parkside, Cambridge

Of course, security is your best defence against cycle thieves, and with the right measures you'll  need to worry far less.

For a road.cc crash course in securing your bike, click here.

And if you want to know which locks we rate the highest, click here.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.