Thieves think that cycle theft is a low risk, high reward crime. Follow these simple steps to lock thieves out and ensure your bike remains safe and secure:
1. Get your bike security marked and registered at BikeRegister.
Getting your bike security marked and registered is a visible deterrent to bike thieves. They know that if they are caught in possession of a registered bike, the rightful owner can be traced and they will be arrested.
Check our website for updates about future bike marking events.
2. Record details of your bike
Frame number (normally found underneath the bike between the pedals or where the back wheel slots in), BikeRegister number, other distinguishing features, and take a photo.
Bikes are often stolen and then sold online. To help police establish if the bike belongs to you take detailed photos of your bike including any unique scratches, damage or modifications.
3. Use locks of a good standard
The Dutch have a saying that you should spend twice what you spent on your bike on your lock. Make your bike less desirable to steal. If a thief sees your bike with good quality locks and sees another with cheap easy locks they’ll pick the easy target.
Use two different types of lock, with at least one being a high quality D-lock. It takes thieves a few seconds to cut through poor quality locks – make it as difficult for them as possible.
The use of cable locks are only designed as a secondary measure to secure removable items, such as saddles and wheels. Cable locks are not suitable as a sole means of securing your bike as a cheap pair of cable cutters will make easy work of even the best of them.
4. Lock the frame and both wheels to the cycle parking stand
Locking both wheels to the stand makes it much harder for the criminals to take anything of value from your bike.
Here is guidance from the Metropolitan Police on locking your bike.
5. Make the locks and bike hard to manoeuvre
Thieves may use a pole to twist and break a lock. Make sure you don’t leave space for this to happen, and use a strong lock.
6. Take parts that are easy to remove with you
For example, saddles and wheels. Or use secure skewers, which can increase security by securing the bike’s components to the frame permanently, making it difficult for thieves to steal parts such as saddle or wheels.
7. Lock your bike at recognised secure cycle parking
It should be well lit and covered by CCTV.
8. Take the same care to lock your bike securely at home
Bikes get stolen from communal hallways, gardens and sheds.
9. Don’t buy a stolen second-hand bike
Insist on proof of ownership and check the bike frame number at BikeRegister.
10. What to do if your bike is stolen
You can report a theft online or contact the police by telephone on 0300 123 1212 (non-emergencies).
If it’s an emergency, call 999.
You can also report a crime in person at any police station.
When you report the theft ask for your ‘CAD’ (Computer Aided Despatch) or ‘CRIS’ (Crime Reference Information System) number. Having a number will help you to trace the progress of your case.
There are other various courses of action open to you if your bike goes missing. Whichever you take, make sure you do it as soon as possible.
Stolen Bikes in the UK will help to spread the word on the theft of your bike and offer you advice to help get it back.
Adverts are usually placed within 24 hours of the theft but if not, keep looking as they sometimes take a few months to pop up.
It might also be worth visiting and posting on the following forums: