Whilst the current lockdown has, for the time being, taken away many of the things we took for granted, one pastime that seems to have increased especially with the warm start to the spring is cycling.
Many of us have dug out those dusty bikes, oiled that slightly rusty chain and re-educated ourselves with YouTube videos on how to repair a puncture, before taking out to the streets, cycle paths and dirt tracks and finding places we never knew existed before… me included.
Yet whilst we are out discovering the local area, some of us have fallen victim to bike theft.
While bike theft in itself has reduced during the lockdown just like most other property crimes, it is noticeable that bikes being taken from people by force or threats have remained at a similar level to the same time in the previous year.
Most of these offences are committed against young people riding alone. It is important that you follow some safety tips;
Plan your route. Tell someone where you are going. How long for. Consider activating locate app on your phone.
Try and stay on well-known paths where there are plenty of people about.
Ride with your family or another person (whilst observing social distancing rules)
Whilst these offences are rare compared with other areas of the UK, bikes are still being stolen, many by opportunist thieves.
Any bike which is insecure, poorly protected and easy to steal will be attractive to offenders. There is much we can do to prevent a good percentage of these by following some good prevention tips;
Buy a quality bike lock. Look for the Police approved ‘Sold Secure’ products. It is always advisable to use security products of a high standard. No point having a £500 bike and a £5 lock.
If you have your bike in a garage or shed use a ground anchor or fixed point and lock your bike to it.
Record all your bike details, take a good photo of it.
Remove the removable bits, lights etc.
Remember to secure your bike to a fixed point i.e. a lamp post even if you're leaving your bike unattended for 1 minute. You would not leave your smartphone on the pavement, would you?
Customise your bike, make it identifiable to you less attractive to criminals.
Consider using a marking scheme to mark your bike like Retainaguard or Selectamark
If you are unfortunate to be the victim of bike theft in whatever guise please ensure it is reported either online or 101.
Many bikes are sold online and often the victim has spotted their bike for sale, however, it is not advisable to meet up with the seller. If a meet has been arranged, tell the Police.
Stay safe everyone.