Forget locking up your daughters – lock up your bikes!
New statistics indicate that bike theft is up 10% in England, bringing the average to one bike stolen every 71 seconds. Though the thieves are not quite up to snuff, stealing something every 60 seconds like Nicolas Cage with his muscle cars, it’s still a pretty impressive number.
The areas of the capital in which you are most likely to be parted from your pedals are Central London and Kingston-Upon-Thames in south west London. The first is a no-brainer but who would’ve thought that a borough in leafy Surrey was so full of eBay opportunists?
It’s not just a surge in thievery that is to blame though. An upswing in bike sales recently accounts for some of the rise.
A spokeswoman for Halifax Home Insurance said: "The increase in thefts is due to an upsurge in the popularity of cycling across Britain. With increasing numbers of employers taking up initiatives such as the Government's cycle to work scheme, opportunities for thieves will only increase."
Bad pun alert: is she trying to say it’s a vicious cycle? And can we blame Ken Livingstone for this too? If he wasn’t trying to get us all on our bikes they wouldn’t be stolen! Man, has he got it in for Londoners. Sheesh.
As for security, it’s unclear which is more dangerous – leaving your bike locked up in public or outside your house. The BBC article states that only 1% of bikes are stolen from private residences but the government’s crime reduction site puts that figure at over 50%. Quite a difference! Either way, just assume that a paltry little padlock won’t do the job and hire a large eastern European man who looks as if he could pull commercial vehicles with his neck to stand guard if you’re very worried.
Otherwise, just walk it. They can’t steal your feet (yet)!
Photo courtesy of Ned Lyttelton