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8 Bike Theft London Statistics & Facts 2023



Many of the most difficult aspects of combating city bike theft are that cities are unaware of the scope of the issue. Riders are discouraged from reporting subsequent occurrences.

Since police agencies generally see the crimes as low priority and fail to pursue thieves. As large as cities perceive the issue to be the likelihood is that it is considerably larger.

Certainly, police agencies have more serious crimes to deal with than bike theft. But it doesn’t make the issue any less serious.

The overall propensity to ignore the issue risks jeopardizing public expenditures in bike infrastructure. As well as the sustainability of bike-share programs and city transportation in general.

Cities would undoubtedly take tougher cars were taken as often as their bikes. Bikers are four times as likely as drivers to be victims of vehicle theft.

1#  Bicycles are stolen for around half of all active bikers


This statistic has been published before, but it bears repeating: city bikers are just a coin flip away from being bike theft victims.

Even that statistic, in some ways, understates the issue, since several bikers have their bikes stolen many times. The 961 responders who were bike theft victims had a total of 1,890 bikes taken, according to the McGill researchers.


2# Few cyclists report bike theft, and even fewer have their bikes registered.


According to the Montreal study, nearly 36% of riders claimed their bikes were stolen. Just 8.5 percent of victims had their bikes registered at the time.


Those results reflect a widespread conviction that the cops will do nothing in any case. Even still, it seems that reporting the incidence is important in terms of recovery: two-thirds of recovered bikes were reported.


3#  However, just 2.4 percent of stolen bicycles were found.


A gloomy, gloomy figure. Even worse, according to the Montreal poll, 22 stolen motorcycles were reported stolen to police, had been registered before to theft, and had been photographed to assist demonstrate ownership. There were none found.


4# Bicyclists who ride all year are 90 percent more likely than others to have their bikes stolen.


The more times you ride your bike on the street, the more likely it is to be stolen. That comes as no surprise, but the result itself is alarming.


Daily riders are 90 percent more likely than seasonal or occasional riders to be robbed. When it comes to theft rates, the peak in July and then fall for the rest of the year.


To put it another way, there’s a strong deterrent to riding when it’s most tempting to ride.


5# Bicyclists may be surprised to learn that the crime happens far closer to home than they think.


In the Montreal study, cyclists were asked where they thought bike theft happened most often. Their replies were compared to actual theft geography.


Riders believe that thefts happen around 3.5 miles from home, but they happen far closer – approximately 2 miles.


Because of the disparity between perceived and actual theft locations, riders may be less cautious about securing their bikes than they should be, particularly in their own communities.


6# Only 37% of bikers are ready to pay more for more convenient parking.


Cities have an obligation to offer bike parking. Just as they do with automobile parking on the street. They also have an incentive to charge a fair fee for it.


This might be an issue, given just 37% of bikers in the Montreal poll were ready to pay for parking. The cost was mentioned by two-fifths of opponents.


While one-fifth refused to pay out of principle. Only 30% said they would pay a dollar for parking.


7# 76 percent of stolen bicycles are under £500.


According to the Montreal report, despite 60 percent of all current bikes on Montreal streets being worth less than £500. Such bikes account for three-quarters of all thefts.


 People who own costly bicycles may take further measures, such as purchasing stronger locks or hiring off-street bike parking. Here is where the difficulty lies.


The more money it takes to keep a bike from being stolen, the more costly (and consequently undesirable) riding becomes.


8# Only 7% of those who were harmed never replaced their bikes.


This may be the most dismal statistic of them all. It implies that these one-time users will switch to other modes of transportation in the city, most likely by vehicle.


Cities invest in bike initiatives to prevent unsustainable mode shifts like these.

How many bikes get stolen a year in London?


  • In London, one occurs every six minutes on average. That’s ten dollars every hour, or £240 per day.


  • However, according to current figures, the number of bicycle thefts in England and Wales decreased to 77.3 thousand in 2020/2021, from over 100,000 in 2017/2018.


  • Even when national rates decline, there are particular regions around the country. That experience a consistent amount of theft. For example, London is regarded as the world’s most dangerous city for bike theft.


  • Between April and November 2020, the capital witnessed the largest number of recorded bike thefts in its history, with 113,000 bikes taken.


  • Although the decrease in the number of recorded thefts is encouraging, bike theft remains a pervasive problem. Although crime rates are decreasing, bikers continue to be fearful. 


How often is a bike stolen in the UK?


  • More than half (54%) of all recorded bike thefts occurred at home, according to statistics from the Office of National Statistics.


  • This also covers “semi-private” spaces around the residence, such as garages or parking lots that are not immediately attached to the property.


  • Around 14% of bikes were taken from “grounds of a public place” in 2019/2020, including local stores, supermarkets, gyms, bars, football clubs, and other locations.


  • A further 5% was stolen from outside the office (or the company parking lot), and a further 9% was taken directly from the streets.



How many bikes are stolen each year in the UK?


Let’s take a deeper look at some of the most disturbing figures from UK sources now that we’ve addressed some of the most pressing issues concerning bike theft.


  • The number of thefts per 100,000 people in London is 486.
  • 71% of victims did not report the incident to the authorities.
  • The average cost of a stolen bike in March 2020 was £348.
  • The crime had an emotional effect on 81 percent of bike theft victims.
  • The majority of bike thefts occurred in March 2020 when the bike was secured.


Do bikes get stolen often in London?


  • Any bike that isn’t secured is a prime target for thieves. Big names like Specialized and Carrera, on the other hand, have been among the top brands stolen in the UK since roughly 2015.


  • One of the most well-known brands in the business, ‘Specialized,’. Specialized is known for producing high-quality, high-value bicycles. Their mountain bikes are extremely valuable to bike thieves in the United Kingdom. Hundreds of stolen Carrera and Specialized bicycles. The majority of which are e-bikes or mountain bikes. May be found on Bike Register’s “stolen bikes” website.


  • E-bikes are becoming more popular. Their expensive cost makes them a tempting target for thieves. 15 electric mountain bikes valued at more than £30,000 were taken from the New Forest Cycling Storeroom in July of this year. This is just one of numerous high-value bike theft cases that have been reported around the nation.


Why Is Bicycle Theft So Pervasive?


  • Bike theft is so frequent (and so difficult to prevent) because of three factors: low risk, few defences, and huge rewards.


  • We already know that just 5% of stolen bicycles are returned to their rightful owners. Thieves may be tough to track down, particularly if the location lacks CCTV if the bike isn’t registered on a database. The motive for authorities to apprehend these offenders is limited. Establishing evidence of ownership might be difficult.


  • In the end, the dangers to thieves are small. The benefits, on the other hand, may be substantial.


  • The majority of stolen bicycles are sold shortly after the theft. Some motorcycles, particularly high-end e-bikes and mountain bikes, may cost tens of thousands of pounds, making them very valuable to thieves.


  • Another problem is a scarcity of readily available defences’ technologies. Secure, heavy-duty locks may be prohibitively expensive, while the less expensive alternatives can be readily broken with minimum power. GPS trackers are becoming more popular. They do little, however, to deter criminals who want to steal motorcycles for components.


What Are the Consequences of Stealing a Bike?


  • Theft of a pedal bicycle in the United Kingdom carries a maximum punishment of seven years in jail and/or an infinite fine.


  • The Sentencing Council’s guidelines suggest that these fines and punishments may vary. The courts must first determine the kind of offense. This is accomplished by establishing the degree of guilt. Which is determined based on whether the theft was premeditated if physical force was employed, and other considerations.


  • The extent of the victim’s injury (as measured by financial loss) will then be assessed. Motorcycles with a high monetary value will face heavier fines and vice versa.


  • Based on additional criteria from the sentencing law, the courts will assess whether a fine (if any) is appropriate, and community orders may be imposed instead of the offense being regarded as less serious.



If you’ve ever had your bike stolen, you understand how distressing and stressful it can be. Count your blessings if you’ve never been a victim of theft. You may like to read our other cycling statistic articles.



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