If you’ve ever had your bike stolen or borrowed without your permission, you’ll know how upsetting it can be. Here' s where you’ll find advice on keeping your bike safe and out of the hands of thieves – as well as what to do to try to get it back if it is stolen.
Between 2014 and 2015 around 20,000 bikes were reported stolen in London. However, due to the high levels of unreporting of bike theft, the British Crime Survey suggests that the actual figure is nearer 70,000.
Follow these 10 tips to ensure your bike remains safe, secure and not a statistic.
10 ways to help prevent anyone taking your bike
1. Register it
Get your bike security marked and registered at BikeRegister. It’s a highly effective, visible deterrent to bike thieves. They know that if they are caught with a registered bike, the owner can be traced and they will be arrested. Immobilise is another free site where you can register your bike’s details.
2. Record it
Remember to record details of your bike such as the frame number (normally found underneath the bike between the pedals or where the back wheel slots in), the BikeRegister number plus any other distinguishing features, and take a photo.
3. Double-lock it
It can take thieves as little as few seconds to cut through some locks, so use two good quality locks, at least one of which is a D-lock.
4. Lock the lot
Lock the frame and both wheels to the cycle parking stand.
5. Secure it
Secure your bike as close to the stand as possible to give any thieves little or no room to manoeuvre.
6. Remove the removable bits
Take parts that are easy to remove with you. Or use locking skewers or nuts which can increase security by securing the bike's components to the frame permanently, making it difficult for thieves to steal detachable parts.
7. Park secure
Lock your bike at recognised secure cycle parking. It should be well lit and covered by CCTV.
8. Remember safety begins at home
Take the same care to lock your bike securely at home as you would on the street.
9. Check ownership
Ask for proof of ownership and check the bike frame number on the Bike Checker at BikeRegister.
10. Act fast
If your bike has been stolen, contact the Met as soon as possible. Give us your frame number, BikeRegister number, a photo and any other details and make sure you update the status on BikeRegister. The sooner we know, the sooner we can act, which might stop it being sold on.
What to do if your bike is stolen
There are various courses of action open to you if your bike goes missing. Whichever you take, make sure you do it as soon as possible. Time really is of the essence.
Stolen Bikes in the UK will help to spread the word on the theft of your bike and offer you advice to help get it back.
Adverts are usually placed within 24 hours of the theft but if not, keep looking as they sometimes take a few months to pop up.
It might also be worth visiting and posting on the following forums: