Using a lock
One of the best ways to avoid your bike getting stolen is to know how to lock your bike. It may sound simple, but many people quickly lock their bikes not realising that it very easy to steal the front wheel, or use a cheap lock which can easily be broken.
Follow these tips and this should help reduce the chances of bike thieves stealing your prized possession.
Finding a parking space
The best place to park your bike is using a designated cycle parking stand. However, before you leave your beloved bike it’s best to check the following…
- Does the parking stand has people regularly passing by it?
- Are CCTV cameras present in the area?
- Are there people in the area who can provide any surveillance (eg people working in offices or sat in bars and restaurants)
If you do leave your bicycle in a public area, make sure you…
- lock the frame to the parking stand, rather than any removable parts such as wheels or the seat
- consider a separate lock if you have any quick-release items
- check the item you lock your bike to is robust and securely fixed to the ground
- don’t lock your bicycle to something moveable (eg a temporary sign) or open on one end (eg a bollard) !!
Lots of different types of locks are available and there are many security accessories that will help you reduce your risk. Download and read Spokes to find out where to park your bike and how to lock it.
Avon and Somerset Police Force have endorsed two bicycle security measures:
- Immobilise allows you to register your property and helps the police to identify stolen property.
- ImmobiTag, is an easy-to-fit device that’s embedded in the bike frame and allows the Police to identify the bike as yours, if recovered by them in the event of theft.
- Find That Bike, is an online search facility which helps you keep an eye classified websites which may illegally be selling your bike
- Stolen Bristol Bikes, A local forum for people to seek help finding their stolen bikes. Also worth checking out their Twitter and Facebook pages.
Density of cycle thefts across Bristol and in the centre
Between May 2013 and Feb 2015 there we’re 2976 cycle thefts in Bristol (LA area). Only 3% of reported bicycle thefts resulted in a prosecution/caution/fine etc, which is understandable due to limited police resources.
Across Bristol the hotspot is in the centre as you’d expect, but there’s also some hotspots around Southmead Hospital/North Horfield and Fishponds Road. In the centre of Bristol the main hotspots are adjacent to Cabot Circus on Penn Street, and Prince Street.
Lock rating with Hal Ruzal
Watch these videos of New York mechanic Hal Ruzal in Bristol grading different bike locking. You’ll see just how easy it is for your bike to be stolen if it isn’t properly secured.
Avon and Somerset Police hold regular tagging sessions in shopping centres and community hubs in an effort to reduce cycle theft.
For more information and advice visit www.avonandsomerset.police.uk.
If you are offered a stoken bike
Ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111