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Survey reveals scale of cycle theft in London, says better cycle parking key to tackling problem

More than 45 per cent of London cyclists surveyed had a bike stolen, while 75 per cent wanted to see more and better bike stands in the capital

Survey results from London have revealed a disturbing level of cycle theft and a critical need for decent cycle parking, according to the London Cycling Campaign (LCC).

Of 1800 London cyclists surveyed, more than 45 per cent had one bicycle stolen; 19 per cent had lost two, while 75 per cent wanted to see more bike stands in the capital. Most commonly thefts (13 per cent) occurred outside a place of work, while only six per cent of theft victims had their bikes returned.  

The survey, by Quanteze, commissioned by Stolen Ride and the London Cycling Campaign, revealed 91 per cent of bikes were locked, but a significant number of victims had only used cheap cable type locks to secure them. Unsurprisingly, 95 per cent of people stepped up security following a theft.

Beginner's guide to bike security—how to stop bike thieves and protect your bike

Tom Bogdanowicz from the London Cycling Campaign said: “The theft survey highlights the need for more cycle stands in London as well as the need to use good locks and insure your bike against theft.”

He added LCC members benefit from third party insurance, “preferential rates on theft insurance”, and discounts on cycling brands and accessories.

The survey also revealed the importance people place on their bike; 47 per cent classified a bike as their most valued possession, more than three times those who referenced a car, computer or phone. More than half (55 per cent) were very concerned about bike security out and about in London, although four out of ten didn’t have theft insurance.

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Stolen Ride is an online community to which people can tweet images of their stolen machines in the hope others will spot it and alert them.

Richard Cantle, founder of Stolen Ride announced he’s expanding the business into prevention and education for 2017.

“I’m focused on helping to tackle the issues highlighted by this survey and today I announce that I’m going to be rapidly expanding Stolen Ride into cycle theft prevention and education in 2017.”

Anonymised responses included comments that employers needed to do more to provide safe cycle storage facilities, and that it can, at times, take 5-10 minutes to find a place to lock a bike in London.

One said: “It seems the police view the problem as very unimportant. While bike theft may not be an expensive crime, it has a massive impact on my daily life, both getting about and mentally feeling safe in my home area.”


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