Police Warn About Bike Rack Scam & Encourage Bike Marking To Deter Theft

31 Mar 2016
Police Warn About Bike Rack Scam & Encourage Bike Marking To Deter Theft

Cyclists in cities are being warned that metal bike racks might not be as secure as they look and that they should consider visibly marking and registering their bike in case it is stolen.

The advice comes after cyclists in London and Bristol have encountered bike racks that have been sawn through by thieves who can then simply remove the locked bike from the stand in seconds.

Other ploys have seen thieves covering the cuts with gaffer tape so they appear to be intact or even camouflaging them with overhanging foliage.

Sarah King, Labour councillor for South Camberwell, recently posted a picture on Twitter showing evidence of the latest scam in Camberwell. Alongside the photo, she said: “Cyclists please watch out for gaffer tape on bike racks covering up that they’re cut straight through.” (Image credit: Sarah King)

Similarly, Avon and Somerset Police said they have sent officers to various locations in Bristol after receiving several reports of bike stands being cut through.

Neighbourhood Sergeant Stephen Bell said: "We are aware of several sites in Bristol being discussed on social media where bike racks are reported to have been tampered with, making it easier for thieves to steal bikes.

"If they have been tampered with then we will alert Bristol City Council to let them know that they need fixing or replacing, and I will ask officers to pay extra attention to those areas when on patrol.

"I would ask bike users to be extra vigilant when using racks to make sure they are secure as well as to log their bikes on BikeRegister, the national database used to trace stolen bikes."

BikeRegister is the UK's leading online bicycle identification and registration initiative aiming to reduce cycle theft, identify stolen bikes and assist in owner recovery. 

Registering on BikeRegister means you could be reunited with your bike in the event of it being stolen, but it does not help make your bike a hard target to thieves. 

To reduce the chance of your bike being stolen, you should also visibly mark it with a BikeRegister Marking Kit and use the deterrent warning stickers. Every Police Force in the UK uses the BikeRegister database to search for stolen & recovered bikes and BikeRegister is proven to reduce bike theft by up to 75%.


There are over 500,000 bikes stolen in the UK each year – don’t let yours be one of them!

We are currently offering a 10% discount to cyclists on all of our BikeRegister Security Kits using discount code BIKE10.

All the kits can be purchased either when going through the online registration process www.bikeregister.com/join or for existing users via their online account www.bikeregister.com/login


10% discount is valid on website orders of bike marking kits only and does not apply to delivery charges


For further information and images contact: Jodie Fisher, Marketing Executive for Selectamark.

Phone: +44 (0)1689 487829
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @bikeregister

Share via:

Get in touch

[email protected]

+ 353 (0)1 546 1150

Join us on

Twitter Facebook YouTube Instagram LinkedIn

Our location

LIS Forensics Ltd
103 Citywest Business Centre
3013 Lake Drive
Dublin 24
D24 PPT3

© Selectamark Security Systems plc 2004 - 2024. All rights reserved.