Preventing bike theft during the coronavirus pandemic
On May 9, 2020, the government announced a £2 billion package to create new era for cycling and walking. This includes the creation of pop-up bike lanes with protected space for cycling, wider pavements, safer junctions, and cycle and bus-only corridors. This is in tandem with recent changes in isolation restrictions with the government encouraging those who cannot work at home to go back to work, and where possible, for people to walk or cycle to their place of work.
The aim is to encourage more people to choose alternatives to public transport. Grant Shapps the Transport Secretary said: “During this crisis, millions of people have discovered cycling – whether for exercise or as a means of safe, socially-distanced transport.” He went on to say, “when the country does get back to work, we need those people to stay on their bikes and be joined by many more.”
If you are joining those who are choosing to get to work by bike, a key aspect of your success will be keeping your bike safe. Bicycles can be some of the easiest vehicles for thieves and vandals to target.
You can protect yourself from becoming a victim by following some simple steps:
Park your bike safely:
- Many businesses provide cycle parks for their employees, so be sure to make use of these if available.
- At home, if possible, keep your bike in a secure garage or shed and keep the door locked.
- Avoid parking your bike in isolated places. Leave your bike where a potential thief will be seen.
- If you have a quick release saddle, you may wish to remove it and take it with you.
Secured by Design is a police initiative that focuses on crime prevention, including advice on secure bike parking.
Lock your bike:
Many people spend considerable amounts of money on good quality cycles and then buy cheap light weight padlocks because they want to reduce the overall weight they are carrying. This make the cycle even easier to steal. It is important to lock your bike following these guidelines:
- Get a good bike lock, and if you can, use two high quality locks. D locks or combination locks are best. Where possible, ensure your padlock conforms to Sold Secure standards
- Lock your bike to something secure, such as one of the many bike racks around our towns and cities.
- Make the lock and bike difficult to move. Keep the lock away from the ground and keep the gap between the bike and lock small.
- Where possible, lock up removable parts (for example, wheels) and take light fittings with you.
- Have your bike’s frame security-marked or engraved.
Record and register your bikes details:
- Record and register your bike at bikeregister.com– you’ll receive stickers to place on your bike to deter thieves and, if your bike is stolen, it makes it a lot easier to recover it. Register your bicycle model, make and frame number.
- Take a clear colour photograph of your bike and make a written record of its description, including any unique features.
A little time and action in keeping your bike safe will help to avoid the misery of bike theft. In these unprecedented times, getting on your bike as a way of exercising or a means of transport may one positive change you can make. As Sir Dave Brailsford, Team Principal of Team INEOS, says: “If ever there was a good time to get on your bike, it’s now. You will be helping take pressure off public transport. You will be looking after your health. You will be looking after the health of others and you will be helping the environment.”
For more information on bicycle security, please go to: