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Preventing pedal cycle theft

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Bicycles can be the easiest vehicles for thieves and vandals to target. Protect yourself from becoming a victim of bicycle crime by following some simple steps.

  • When budgeting for your bike, budget for quality security locks as well
  • Think about a secure location you can keep your bike at home
  • Buy from a legitimate outlet and do what you can to check the bike isn’t stolen – search property registers such as www.immobilise.com and www.bikeregister.com
  • Insure your bike at the time you buy it – speak to your home contents insurer or seek specialist cover if required
  • Record and register your bike with clear photographs and a written description, including unique features, in case it is stolen
  • Consider additional security marks or tags to identify the bike as yours. Visible measures help deter thieves and should be securely attached. Hidden ones help prove ownership if it is recovered
  • Form good habits about locking your bike up so it becomes second nature every time you leave it, whether at home or out and about

Securing your bike

More than half of all bicycle thefts take place from an owner’s property. Keep yours safe at home with these tips:

  • Keep your bike in a secure shed or garage and keep the door locked
  • Consider a battery-operated shed alarm to alert you to any unauthorised entry
  • Use a padlock alarm to secure your bike to an immovable object or consider a floor or wall-mounted anchor
  • Keep your bike away from windows or out of external view
  • If you store your bike in a communal area, is there anything you can lock it to? If not, ask your landlord or building manager if a stand can be fitted

Away from home:

  • Avoid leaving your bike in dimly lit or isolated places – choose a spot where a potential thief can easily be seen
  • Always lock your bicycle, even if you are just leaving it for a couple of minutes. Think about using different types of lock to make it harder to steal
  • Lock both wheels and the frame tightly to a cycle stand or other immoveable object so your bike is difficult to move
  • Make it impossible for a thief to smash the lock open – if you use a D lock, fill the D part with as much of the bike as possible.
  • Never leave a lock lying on the ground where it can easily be smashed
  • Remove any items which can be taken without using tools, such as lights, pump, panniers, seat post and saddle                      

Choosing the right locks

Quality locks will keep your bike as secure as possible – as a guide, be prepared to spend 10 per cent of the value of your bike on locks.

  • Hardened steel D-shaped locks and sturdy chain locks are recommended
  • Choose products that have been tested against attack and locks which resist attack for the longest time. Visit www.soldsecure.com for certified locks, or ask your local bike shop for a recommendation
  • Price isn’t necessarily a reliable indicator of quality and attack-resistance – check packaging for details, consider your likely risk and invest accordingly
  • It’s always best to use two locks of different types, such as a D lock and sturdy chain lock – this means a thief will need different tools to break each one, making theft less likely

To speak to our crime prevention team about protecting your bicycle email crimeprevention@northants.pnn.police.uk

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