According to the latest data from Urban Jungle, claims for bike theft have risen by 125 per cent in the past three months leading up to October. The data, taken from claims made to the group showed that claims in London have increased by 129%.
This comes after figures compiled for the first half of 2020 by national cycle database BikeRegister revealed a significant rise in reported bike theft. For example, in June alone, reported bike thefts were up by 48% on 2019.
Jimmy Williams, CEO of Urban Jungle said: “The claims we are receiving aren’t from people who have left their bike outside a pub or shop, or who forgot to lock it. They are cases where criminals have clearly turned up prepared, with bolt cutting tools, and whisked the bike away in a hurry”
“Some thieves are not averse to jumping into back gardens or breaking into sheds. Criminals have also worked out how to get into the council-owned bike hangers,” he adds.
“Criminals know how to spot an expensive bike and can dispose of them quickly by selling them online. They are organised, fast, and efficient. Also, they know there is a big market for bikes right now, as cycling is increasingly popular, meaning demand has outstripped supply.”
Williams says bikes can be added to most insurance policies but can be easily missed. Most insurers will cover for theft, he notes, “but make sure you include `Out of Home cover’ on your policy,” he advises.
Urban Jungle has also created a guide:
Join Bike Register
The UK’s national, police approved registration scheme is free to join and has close to one million registrations. If your bike is stolen, you can report it online and share details via social media.
Urban Jungle recommends locking up your bike and keeping it indoors, especially if they are expensive, but if they are out in the open, make sure both the wheels and the frame are secured to a permanent structure.
Locking up your bike somewhere well-lit and busy is also a good deterrent for thieves as these places most likely have CCTV. They recommend avoiding leaving it outside overnight.
Removing any expensive accessories such as lights and bags is also important in deterring thieves as designer saddles and front wheels can be prime targets.
Finally, Urban Jungle recommends getting out and enjoy exploring your area by bike.