With more and more statistics being released about the number of bike thefts in the UK and the awareness of bike thieves operating around the country growing, you would think by now that people know how important it is, when using a bike, to lock it up safely and securely. Well, that may not be the case as the number of bikes being stolen in the UK is still high, with 7800 bikes reported stolen in May this year.
Cambridgeshire Police took it upon themselves to shock people into securing their bikes more effectively. There were 2100 bikes were stolen in Cambridge in the last year. In an attempt to encourage people to lock up their bikes, Cambridgeshire Police hosted a small stunt that was captured on the city’s CCTV.
Four actors were sent into the busy centre of Cambridge and there they were captured on CCTV stealing four bikes. The video clip shows a number of bikes which have been locked to the railings running almost all the way down the picture, but the actor approaches one and takes the bike. It raises the question, how easy is it to steal a bike? Nobody reported the theft of the first bike despite it being in broad daylight and in the middle of a bustling city centre full of shoppers, tourists and other cyclists. Even when the “theif” produces orange bolt cutters to break the lock in order to make off with the bike, none of the passers-by seem to notice or do anything about it. The same was noted in different locations. None of the general public who witnessed the bikes being taken called 999 and reported it to the police.
It is the aim of the Cambridgeshire Police to highlight how easy it is to steal a bike, and it is up to us to ensure that our bikes are locked up properly and that we report any thefts to the police.
The end of the video states the importance of using a strong, good quality lock to secure you bike and to attach it to a fixed object rather than street-side railings or posts.
In particular, they mention investing in a D-lock for locking up bikes when they are not being used to give maximum security. A D-lock has a double bolted mechanism which makes them more difficult for thieves to break in to. Similarly, they are more resistant to being cut through by bolt cutters and other hand tools. It is advised that you do not just lock your bike frame to your wheel, because despite thieves not being able to wheel your bike away, they can lift it up and walk away with it.
Locking your bike to a fixed, stationary object is also a deterrent for thieves. Rather than attaching your bike to railings or lampposts, where the bike can be lifted over, it is better and more effective to secure your bike to a designated bike rack. Many different bike racks are available such as Sheffield Cycle Stands which work perfectly, providing fixtures for your bikes to be attached to. It is also advisory to use a Cycle Shelter to lock your bike. By locking your bike to a designated cycle rail then you are putting off thieves who will not want to operate in areas where people will be looking out for obvious bike theft, such as around cycle stands and shelters.
This hoax that took place in Cambridge is something which needs to shock the general public into seeing how easy it is to have your bike stolen in broad daylight. Therefore, encouraging people to buy durable, resistant locks for their bikes and fasten them to designated bike racks when they are not in use to limit the number of bikes that are stolen.
To see our full range of cycle racks and stands, click here.