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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

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.

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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