Bike theft is undoubtedly a problem in Britain. But there are things you can do to prevent it.
The best thing of all is to leave your bike inside wherever possible, but if you must leave it outside then always secure it with least two locks – for instance, a D-lock and a strong chain. Also, avoid leaving your bike in dimly-lit places where thieves can snoop. A well-lit thoroughfare is a better bet.
Another very important step is to register your bike’s details with an organisation such as BikeRegister. This helps the police or retailers identify and verify the legitimate owners of bikes that have been stolen or are being resold. Over 48,000 bikes have been registered with BikeRegister and marked since June 2010.
I recently encountered a news story that exemplifies the importance of registering your bike. A man approached a plain clothed police officer from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Cycle Task Force and offered to sell him a bike. Officers conducted checks at the scene – including a search of BikeRegister.com, which is the MPS’s preferred cycle registration database. It was discovered that the real owner had reported his bike stolen from Hackney two days earlier. The suspect, a 36 year old man, was arrested.
Bike theft can be genuinely upsetting. I’ve had a bike nicked in London - you feel like you’ve lost a friend. So it’s heartening to know that there are simple things you can do to make thieves’ lives miserable instead of your own.