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Three quarters of Brits don’t expect police to bother investigating bike thefts

According to a recently published YouGov survey, 84 percent also believe it’s unlikely that bike thieves will be caught and convicted

More than three quarters of British people reckon that the police won’t bother investigating instances of bicycle theft, a new YouGov survey has found.

According to the poll, bike thefts rank top of the list of crimes Brits don’t expect police to look into thoroughly, ahead of mobile phone snatching, phone and internet scams, and shoplifting.

84 percent of those surveyed also believe that it is unlikely that bike thieves will be caught and convicted, with over half claiming that it is “not likely at all” that criminals stealing bicycles will be found guilty in court.

> Police failed to catch a bike thief in 87% of affected neighbourhoods in past three years 

The YouGov survey follows a report released earlier this month by the police watchdog which argued that police forces in England and Wales are failing to adequately investigate cases of burglary, robbery and theft in England and Wales. 

Recent Home Office figures show that, between March 2021 and March 2022, just 6.3 percent of robbery offences and 4.1 percent of thefts in England and Wales led to charges.

When it comes to bike theft, an investigation by the Telegraph last month found that in 87 percent of the 24,000 neighbourhoods where a stolen bike was reported in the past three years, not a single case had been solved, meaning all the cases had been closed without a suspect identified or charged.

> Cyclists report multiple muggings and thefts on London cycle route 

The newspaper’s investigation suggested that the national average for a suspect being identified and charged was just 1.4 percent in 2020, down from 2.8 per cent in 2016.

Sifting through crime figures and analysing 175,927 crimes between June 2019 and May 2022, the investigation found 18 neighbourhoods (each home to more than 1,500 people) which had more than 100 bike thefts, without a single case being solved.

> "Deeply concerned" British Cycling steps in following spate of violent bikejackings across south London 

This lack of action concerning bike thefts has ultimately led to a widespread lack of confidence in the police to bring thieves to justice.

According to YouGov, 77 percent of Brits don’t expect their local police force to properly investigate reports of bike theft, the highest level for any of the 15 crimes included in the survey.

Just 11 percent of those surveyed think that the police would attempt to pursue leads and catch the culprit or culprits.

In comparison, 70 percent showed a lack of confidence in the police to investigate mobile phone thefts and phone or internet scams, while 67 and 65 percent reckon that they have detected apathy within the police towards shoplifting and anti-social behaviour, respectively.

Not surprisingly, 84 percent believe that it is unlikely that bike thieves will be “caught, found guilty and sentenced in court”, while 55 percent reckoned it was “highly unlikely”.

> "It makes you feel powerless" – victims in UK's bike theft capital share their frustrations 

Last year, we interviewed several bike theft victims in Cambridge, the bike theft capital of the UK where 4,000 bicycles are reported stolen in a typical year, with any more thefts going unreported.

One victim highlighted that repeated break-ins at bike storage facilities where she lives have left people feeling “powerless”, while another said that after their bikes were stolen, neither she nor her partner cycle to the city’s railway stations.

Local cycle campaign group Camcycle estimated that the theft of bicycles – the most reported crime in the city – costs residents more than £1.5 million.

In 2020, James Sutherland, a superintendent of Cambridgeshire Constabulary, said that due to budget cuts and focusing on violent crime, the force was unable to prioritise bike theft.

“The loss of focus means cycle thieves have become brazen, greedy and lazy,” he said.

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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15 comments

Avatar
peted76 | 1 year ago
0 likes

Three quarters of Brits don’t expect police to bother investigating bike thefts, the other 25% don't know what 'investigate' means.

 

...honestly, who makes up these numbers, because this is not even close to being real.

Avatar
Rik Mayals unde... | 1 year ago
1 like

I think the headline should have read 'Three quarters of Brits don’t expect police to bother investigating thefts'. 

After all, they can't even be arsed to come out to burglaries any more, nor car thefts. They simply give you a crime reference for the insurance company. Shites.

Avatar
Fignon's ghost | 1 year ago
1 like

In my many years of owning bikes. I've suffered a few thefts. I never, ever took any confidence or had any expectation the police would go on to do anything at all. In fact. I'm amazed it would be considered possible!

Avatar
Sriracha | 1 year ago
1 like

Given the recent story reported here where police recovered upwards of 40 stolen bicycles, but struggled to reunite them with their owners for want of being registered at Bikeregister.com, I guess many police assume owners are happy with the situation.

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ktache replied to Sriracha | 1 year ago
0 likes

I think it's probably more that people are unaware.

Mine are all signed up, but only when I got a newish one.

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Car Delenda Est replied to Sriracha | 1 year ago
0 likes

😅

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Oldfatgit | 1 year ago
4 likes

Three quarters of Brits don't expect the Police to investigate burglaries either.

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Hirsute replied to Oldfatgit | 1 year ago
1 like

Our Glorious Home Secretary is going to change all that.

 

 

 

Avatar
Rik Mayals unde... replied to Hirsute | 1 year ago
2 likes

You think so? They can't even stop 1000s of migrants flooding our shores every week. How many criminals are coming in each week?

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Secret_squirrel replied to Rik Mayals underpants | 1 year ago
8 likes

Jesus what is it this week with the out and out racists having taken over?

Post some evidence supporting your shitposting or take it down. 

Avatar
NOtotheEU replied to Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago
1 like

I don't agree it's necessarily racist (although it could be) but the 1000's is slightly exaggerated as it's just over 700 per week this year, and I really don't want to imagine how many have drowned in the attempt. That's a rough average but maybe they were referring to the 2553 the MOD reports arrived in 4 days last week? Given that a percentage of British people are criminals it follows that a similar percentage of migrants will also be criminals.

More relevent to this site, lets hope they are substantially better drivers than our own home grown blind, selfish, bicycle hating morons.

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago
4 likes
Secret_squirrel wrote:

Jesus what is it this week with the out and out racists having taken over?

I think they're feeling increasingly emboldened by the current climate, it doesn't matter if the article's about bike theft, crown green bowls or the village vegetable show, they'll find a way to blame immigrants for it somehow.

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Rendel Harris replied to Rik Mayals underpants | 1 year ago
4 likes
biker phil wrote:

You think so? They can't even stop 1000s of migrants flooding our shores every week. How many criminals are coming in each week?

How desperate do you have to be to get your hate in to try and make an article about whether or not the police investigate bicycle theft about immigration? Pathetic. Incidentally prevention of illegal immigration is the responsibility of the UK Border Force, not the police, so there's no link whatsoever.

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Hirsute replied to Rik Mayals underpants | 1 year ago
1 like

Less than 5% if they are all criminals.

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Grahamd replied to Oldfatgit | 1 year ago
2 likes
Oldfatgit wrote:

Three quarters of Brits don't expect the Police to investigate burglaries either.

and the quarter that expect an investigation are deluded.

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