A survey commissioned by Stolen Ride and London Cycling Campaign has brought attention to the high levels of bike theft in London, highlighting the need to educate riders about locking techniques, and to increase the number of bike stands available to them.
The survey, powered by Quanteze, found that of the 1800 respondents, 75 per cent wanted to see more bike stands, and considered the shortage of stands to be leaving cyclists with no choice but to lock their bikes at insecure locations. Of those reporting having had a bike stolen, 13 per cent said it had happened outside their place of work. Six per cent said their bikes had been returned, while only four in ten said that they had theft insurance.
On the whole, more than 45 per cent of respondents had experienced one or more bicycle theft, with 19 per cent of the surveyed reporting having had more two or more bikes stolen. Following theft, 95 per cent of the surveyed had increased bike security – the use of different locks or locking systems was the most common change. It was found that 91 per cent of bikes stolen from a public place had been locked, with 46 per cent secured by inexpensive, cable-type locks.
65 per cent said that they believe better access to cost-effective tracking devices will help recover more stolen bikes.
“It seems the police view the problem as very unimportant,” said an anonymous cyclist. “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.”
Another respondent said, “Cyclists still lock bikes incorrectly, fuelling the market in stolen bikes. There is a need to educate cyclists in the best way to lock bikes. Quick release wheels should be replaced with key-locking wheel nuts on most bikes sold in London.”
Richard Cantle, founder of Stolen Ride, commented: “I’m focused on helping to tackle the issues highlighted by this survey – today, I announce that I’m going to be rapidly expanding Stolen Ride into cycle theft prevention and education in 2017.”