Police Warning For Cyclists Using Cycling Apps24 Feb 2016
Cycling apps which map your route whilst riding are believed to contribute to the increased number of high value cycles being stolen in Dorset, according to Dorset Police.
Officers are encouraging cyclists to check their settings on certain apps, particularly people who enjoy sharing their journeys over the internet.
Poole’s Safer Neighbourhood Team Sergeant, Ady Thompson, said: “We have noticed a rise in the number of high value cycles being stolen recently, particularly from the conurbation, which we believe could be linked to people unwittingly leading thieves to their home addresses due to posting information online.
“We are urging all cyclists to be mindful of the amount of personal information which they share over the internet and how this can be interpreted by criminals, as data isn’t just accessible to fellow enthusiasts, but to thieves too.
“Changing the privacy settings on an app will make it hard for would-be thieves to pinpoint where the bike is stored when not in use. It takes seconds to do, but can save thousands of pounds, hours of frustration and upset, and deny the criminal a ‘quick thrill’ or a sale.”
From April-October 2015, there were 481 reports of pedal cycle theft across Dorset, with 124 reports coming from the Poole area (just over 25% of the reports the force receives for cycle crime).
Sgt Thompson continues: “The value and quality of the stolen bikes varies, but in Poole, there is an unusually large number of high value bikes taken, worth an average of £600 each, which equates to an approximate financial loss of £74,400 to the community.”
He added: “Doing simple things such as getting your bike marked by your local Safer Neighbourhood Team officer, removing bike racks from vehicles when at home, using ground anchors when your cycle is stored away, locking your bike with two different types of locks and when buying a second hand bike and checking the details on BikeRegister to make sure it’s not stolen, all help deter thieves from stealing your property.”
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