As we mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the increasing popularity of cycling in Britain has had some unfortunate side effects, not least a rise in bike theft. However, it’s not all bad news, police forces around the country have become much more active when it comes to the prevention and recovery of stolen cycles.
London’s Metropolitan Police is leading the way. Bike theft costs the capital more than £10 million annually, but since 2010 the Met’s Safer Transport Command has made 300 cycle theft-related arrests. Earlier this year the Safer Transport Teams also began a new intelligence-gathering campaign, which included putting up bespoke cycling-themed Crimestoppers posters at targeted places, such as second-hand bike shops.
So, while having a bike stolen is a depressing reality for some, there are also increasing instances of heart-warming stories. For example, just last month a 15-year-old boy was reunited with the bicycle that had been stolen from him last year, after he spotted it at a police station open day.
The bike in question — a Specialised Myka — had been stolen in June 2013 and was brought into Islington police station in January after being seized by police during action on an unrelated matter. However, because the original theft was never reported and the bike hadn’t been registered or security marked, police were unable to identify its rightful owner and the bicycle remained at the station.
That was until its young owner — who was taking part in a cycling open day at Islington — noticed his bike among others on display, provided proof of ownership, and happily pedalled away on it afterwards.
It’s a good example of why it’s so important to register your bike with police and then report the theft if your bike is taken. In fact, the Met even has an online gallery of recovered but unclaimed bikes in its possession. (Simply visit content.met.police.uk and type ‘recovered bicycles gallery’ in the search bar.)
But before you even get to any of these stages, always think about where you leave your bike and how securely you lock it. And why not think about taking out one of cycleplan’s excellent insurance policies? We’ll get you back up and pedalling quickly, no matter what.
To get an instant quote, or to learn more about cycling insurance click here.