Did you know that the value of bikes stolen each year exceeds the value of property stolen from people in house burglaries? Bicycles are expensive nowadays and having one stolen is not only costly but also extremely inconvenient. At this time of year, the ‘fair weather’ cyclists are also all out and about and so there is an even better selection of bikes for the would-be thieves to choose from.
Without a doubt, your chance of keeping possession of your valued bicycle is to buy a quality lock for it AND REMEMBER TO USE IT! It is advisable to position the lock to include as much of the frame and other parts as possible. With most locks, the frame and at least one wheel can be protected. Any accessories such as lights, pump, water-bottles should be removed wherever possible when your bike is parked otherwise the chances of still owning them when you return to collect your bike is serious reduced.
Many cycles are stolen when owners leave them against shop windows. They are only ‘nipping into the store for a few seconds’ and believe that they can ‘keep on eye’ on their bike so they don’t bother with a lock. Thieves know this too, and are happy to help themselves.
Youngsters are very good at dumping and temporarily abandoning their bikes because something has attracted their attention; their friends, a football game. No time to use a lock as every second counts when there are other things to think about, and valuable time will be lost when it comes to cycling away at a moment’s notice, not to mention looking ‘uncool’ by being seen to worry about security. Losing a school jumper will get you in trouble with your mum or dad, but losing your bike as someone has ridden off on it whilst you were hanging around with your mates is a far more costly practise!
Other vulnerable bikes are those that are left on roof or boot racks on vehicles. These are very popular nowadays and when these vehicles are left unattended in car parks, or when waiting for ferries, they can be targeted by thieves for a very quick and easy steal.
Please have your bike security marked, or get your postcode stamped on the frame. Hundreds of bikes are recovered by the Police each year but many are never traced back to their rightful owners. Make a note of your bike’s details and vital statistics, so that should the worst happen, you may get to see your bike again.
If you have information about ANY crime, please do not hesitate to give Crimestoppers a call on 0800 555 111, or you can click www.crimestoppers-uk.org and tell us what you know online. Either way is entirely anonymous and no one except you (unless you tell people yourself!) will know that you gave information.
For regular updates, please follow me on twitter @HantsCrimestopp
PC 741 Simon Wright