Cambridge ‘UK’s top hotspot’ for bike thefts, figures show

Cambridge is the UK’s top hotspot for bike thefts, recording more than double the number of its rival city on the list, according to new figures.

MoneySuperMarket analysed bike theft data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and found that the rate of reported thefts per 1,000 people was highest in Cambridge in 2020 at 18.4. Oxford and Reading take second and third place, reporting eight and 5.2 stolen bikes per 1,000 people respectively.

At the other end of the scale, Tunbridge Wells (0.2), Caerphilly (0.2) and Dudley (0.3) had the lowest rates of bicycle theft.

Overall, the data shows that 72,640 bikes were reported stolen in 2020, which amounts to 199 bicycle thefts per day on average. This figure is down 15% compared to 2019, where 85,285 bikes were reported as stolen.

Residents of Cambridge were the third most likely to include a bike on their policy (17% of enquiries), behind only Bristol and South West London (18%). However, in Oxford and Reading, only 15% and 13% of enquiries included a bike, respectively.

According to MoneySuperMarket’s home insurance data, the median cost of a combined building and contents policy that does not include a bike is £134.86. When a bike is added to the policy, Brits can expect to pay £183.95, or £49.09 (36%) more on average.

Kate Devine, home insurance expert at MoneySuperMarket, said: “Cycling has become popular over the past year and with the country easing out of lockdown and people set to travel once again, it’s even more important to make sure bikes are covered for theft and damage.

“Whilst the data shows that some areas are safer than others, there are many things we can do to deter bicycle thieves. Our top suggestions are:

– Invest in a good quality lock
– Lock your bike securely, including the wheels
– Avoid locking your bike in an isolated area
– Using two different types of locks can act as a strong deterrent
– Register and insure your bike

“To avoid paying more than necessary if your bike were to be stolen, it’s always a good idea to insure it – either by including it in your home insurance policy or by taking out specialist bike insurance. It doesn’t take long, provides peace of mind, and using a comparison site can get you a good deal.”

Read the May issue of BikeBiz below:

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