10th January 2019
Increase in cycles leads to increase in theft
According to the Institute for Employment Studies report around 180,000 people a year participate in the cycle to work scheme operated by employers, through which employees can save up to 40 per cent of the cost of a new bicycle to cycle to work from reduced income tax and National Insurance.
According to bikebiz 2.5 million pedal cycles were sold in the UK in 2017. With large volumes of bikes/pedal cycles around our city streets. These cycles are without a doubt an attractive target for would be thieves and indeed many of these bikes may already have been stolen.
Though the cycle to work scheme may help fund the cost of a new bike, there is no help for those having to replace these valuable items. Whether these cyclists are new to life on two wheels or an old hand, without taking the right precautions they are vulnerable.
Theft of bicycles has been on a constant rise in recent years, with an increasing number of cyclists coming back to broken locks or bikes that have been stripped of their parts. There is a general awareness for the need to secure the wheels, along with the frame of the bike; but handle bars, lights, saddles and other removable parts and accessories are also popular with thieves. When you add these together it can set the owner back hundreds of pounds if they are stolen. There are, however, a number of ways that cyclists can protect themselves from becoming a victim of bike theft.
Michael Masterson from Cover4Insurance, who offer a specialist bicycle insurance policy says: “Bicycles are one of the easiest vehicles for thieves and vandals to target. If you want to protect yourself from becoming a victim you need to take some simple but effective steps:
- Get a good bike lock.
- Make sure you lock your bike to something secure, even if only for a few minutes and avoid isolated places. You want to leave your bike where a potential thief can be clearly seen.
- Lock up any removable parts such as wheels and take light fittings with you.
- Make a note of the bike's frame number.
- Have your bike's frame security-marked or engraved.
- Take a clear picture of your bike and make a written record of its description, including any unique features.
- At home, keep your bike in a secure garage or shed and keep the door locked.
- Register your bike online at the Bike Register . Each year police recover a number of stolen bikes but have no way of working out who owns the bike. If your bike is registered online, they will be able to reunited you with your bike.
- Insure it.
Although these tips are useful, they can never keep you entirely safe and our insurance policy is a great safety net. We cover the cost of replacing bikes, its parts and accessories and also have additional benefits such as public liability, replacement bike hire and cover in Europe for up to 45 days per year.
Bike theft and security should definitely be a concern, but it shouldn’t deter potential cyclists from using this mode of transport to get to work, university, college or school, as it is a great way to keep healthy, be environmentally friendly, avoid traffic jams and with escalating fuel costs, save money.
Has there ever been a better time to get on your bike? With the right information, a secure lock and adequate insurance, cyclists can ride in comfort knowing that they’re protected from the risks of riding.