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Video: How to stop your bike getting stolen - London police guide

Bike thefts up so City of London police produce comprehensive anti-theft guide

The City of London police reports that bike thefts increased 25 percent year on year for the period April 1 to June 30.

To help combat the tide of light-fingered scumbags swiping bikes, the police have produced two videos and a comprehensive web page showing you how easy it is for some locks to be cut and detailing the best way to stop it from happening to you.

As you can see in this video, an inexpensive cable lock can be cut in seconds.

The City of London police’s cycling expert, PCSO Scott Green, talks about some of the security options here:

The most useful part of the campaign is a comprehensive guide to choosing and using a lock. Key points from the guide include:

  • Get your bike on the Bike Register so that it is more likely to be recovered if it is stolen.
  • Store your bike inside overnight if possible.
  • On the street, lock your bike to a proper bike stand, and in a place where it can be seen.
  • Lock your frame and both wheels to an immovable object.
  • Use a good quality lock. Spend 20 percent of the value of your bike on a lock and use two different locks when leaving the bike for any length of time.
  • If using a chain lock, make sure it’s not resting on the ground where it can be more easily smashed open.
  • Fill a D lock with frame and wheels and use one that’s as small as practicable to stop thieves using bars or jacks to lever it open.
  • Point your D-locks lock mechanism down so thieves can’t pour things into it such as glue which forces you to leave the bike for them to attack the lock later.
  • Don’t use a thin cable lock as your only security.
  • Look for Sold Secure ratings.
  • Keep your spare key safe and make a note of your key number.
  • Get insurance.

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for Along with founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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paulfg42 | 10 years ago

Is there meant to be a video on this page?

kie7077 | 10 years ago

Locked even worse than the one in the photo.

I'm waiting for some new super light and strong material to come along, what's the point of having a 7kg bike if you've got to carry 2.5kg of locks and chains/cable.

And if your bike cost £3k then £300 of locks would be overkill. My gold rated lock was £25ish.

/dont have a £3k, 7kg bike btw.

ribena | 10 years ago

Mine are on immobilise.

Are bike register and immobilise two separate systems, do bikes need to be registered on both??

AleT replied to ribena | 10 years ago

Yes, they're different.
I asked a Met policeman doing bike marking that same question, and he said that the Met use bike register, not immobilise.
Apparently it's because bike register uses a tamper proof (supposedly) marker, whereas immobilise just uses the frame number, which for some reason isn't a good enough identifier for them.

Tom Amos | 10 years ago

I keep mine in my bedroom where I can see it....

billyman | 10 years ago

I am pretty lucky as I work in a very secure area which has cameras watching the bikes, at home I built a key secured 7ft by 5ft bike shed, and bought off a local fabrication place a galvanized bike stand and coach bolted it to the flags, I then have two bike locks wrapping up my three bikes one of them locks is sold secure the other is just a chain wrap around...I put pipe lagging around the bike stand and the metal parts of the lock also..... I'm pretty confident mine are safe.

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