Top Tips to Protect Your Bike
With the popularity of cycling at an all time high, what should you do to protect your bike from theft?
1. Get a decent lock
Bike thieves need to operate quickly to reduce the chance of being caught, so a decent bike lock is literally worth its weight in gold.
A heavy-duty bike lock can make a thief’s job more difficult, with the result that they abandon attempts to steal your bike or move onto a bike with a less secure lock.
• Buy a decent lock - preferably two
• Expect to pay at least £40 for a lock
• Make sure you buy a certified Sold Secure lock.
2. Make your mark
Marking your bike with a unique code ensures that Police will be able to trace your bike back to you if it is stolen and recovered.
BikeRegister is a Police -approved marking scheme and the BikeRegister kit is the Metropolitan Police Service’s preferred bike marking product.
As part of their move to improve cycle security in London, the Metropolitan Police Force’s Cycle Task Force regularly set up engagement stalls offering security marking and registration onto BikeRegister. For more information about Cycle Task Force security marking email [email protected]
In other parts of the UK, local police forces mark bikes at special events which are usually advertised on their websites. You can also contact your local Safer Neighbourhood Team to find out when their next marking event is taking place.
However, if you are marking your bike yourself:
• ensure the security mark is clearly visible. This in itself will act as a deterrent to bike thieves.
• apply a tamper-proof sticker to the frame, warning that the bike has been marked
• Make sure you register the bike online at BikeRegister and download a registration log book, proving ownership.
3. Insure it
A bike can cost as much as an item of jewellery, an antique or a painting so make sure you are well covered by insurance in case of theft.
Check whether your home contents insurance covers your bike. Make sure it covers you for thefts outside the home too. If your bicycle is particularly valuable you may need to insure it separately.
BikeRegister has teamed up with Cycleplan to offer you up to 25% off your bike insurance when you register your bike with BikeRegister. To find out more click here https://www.bikeregister.com/partnerships/cycleplan
4. Out and about
Bike thefts can occur at any time - day or night. A growing trend is that thieves are stealing certain makes and models to order.
• Park your bike in a well-lit area, where it can be easily seen by passers-by.
• Lock both wheels and the frame of your bike to a cycle stand or other immoveable object. Use designated parking areas where possible.
• Make sure the locks go through the bike frame as well as both wheels and the post you are securing it to. Otherwise, a thief may steal the bike and leave the wheels behind. Also, make sure it isn’t possible to cut through the post, or for the bike to be lifted up over the top of it.
• Ensure your lock doesn’t touch the ground, otherwise it is easy for a thief to sledgehammer it off.
• Take any removable items with you such as wheels, lights, baskets and saddle.
• Don’t park in the same place every day. If bike thieves are stealing to order, they are more likely to target you if they know where you will be.
5. At home
More than half of bikes are stolen from home. Reduce the chances of this happening by:
• storing your bike in a locked shed or garage
• keeping it out of view
• securing it to an immovable object.
6. Follow the Three R’s :–
(as recommended by the Metropolitan Police Service)
Keep a record of the frame number, make and any other marks that can identify your bike if it is stolen.
Take a photo of the bike and write a description of it, so you can describe it accurately if it does get stolen.
Alternatively, when you register on BikeRegister, you can download a Bike Logbook which allows you to write down the main features of your bike, such as frame number, make and model, colour and any other distinguishing features. If stolen, you can give this to police to help track it down.
Register your bike details onto BikeRegister.com. By marking and registering your bike you stand a chance that the police will be able to return it to you if it is stolen and recovered.
More and more marked bikes are being recovered and returned to their rightful owners, so if your bike is stolen you should definitely report it to the police.
• You can report the theft online (www.online.police.uk
), by phone or in person at your local police station.
• Ask for your CAD (Computer Aided Despatch) or CRIS (Crime Reference Information System) number. This will help you trace the progress of your case and may be needed for your insurance claim.
• If your bike is stolen in London, report the theft to the Metropolitan Police Service by calling 101 or online at www.online.met.police.uk
• If you are a victim of bike theft and you suspect your bike is being sold, do not arrange to meet the seller, contact the police, quoting your crime reference number.
• Police advice when buying a second-hand bike is to make sure the seller owns it. When buying a new bike, they suggest you purchase from a recognised dealer.