Manchester in the worst 10% for bike thefts in UK cities excluding Scotland

Manchester is one of the worst cities in the UK for bike thefts, it has emerged. 

The city ranks 30th out of 351 cities in the UK, not including Scottish cities, putting it in the top 10%.

The new data, put together by cycling insurance provider Yellow Jersey and the British Transport Police, was taken between April 2018 and April 2019 and showed over 104,000 bike thefts were reported, meaning an average of one every five minutes.

Emily Conrad-Pickles, Head of Marketing at Yellow Pages, said: “It’s a shame as cycling has great benefits to the environment and people’s health.

“A few simple precautions can be taken to help stop bicycle crime such as using appropriate locks and trying not to leave your bike in crime hot spots.”

Yellow Jersey has provided a heat map of the UK showing the locations of bicycle thefts and where these hotspots are. 

“Our bicycle theft heat map should help people across the region to determine what the crime is like in the areas they live and work and try to limit the chances of theft,” added Conrad-Pickles.

Another Yellow Jersey study of 2,000 Brits found that over a fifth of people in the North West have had a bike stolen and nearly half know someone who has been a victim.

Of those, six in ten never got their bike back and two in ten who did said the bike was in an unusable condition.

The average cost of a stolen bike was found to be £327.55.  Two thirds of those polled said that they were affected both financially and emotionally.

Superintendent Mark Cleland, national lead for cycle crime, said: “If people can better understand cycle crime, then they can make informed decisions about how and where to leave their bikes.”

Other consequences for victims included having to find a new way to get to work and having to cancel plans.

Of the victims in the North West, one quarter said their bike was taken from their garden, 23% had their bike taken from an outdoor storage such as a garage or shed while 10% had their bike taken after locking it on a local high street.

Figures show that 15% of Mancunians cycle at least once a week.  With a planned investment of £137.3m for walking and cycling projects in Greater Manchester, the figure is likely to rise over the forthcoming years.

Half of those interviewed in the North West said they didn’t feel comfortable locking up their bikes where they lived and four in ten said the level of theft in the area had put them off buying a bike.

Of all the people polled throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland, 83% felt that more needed to be done to tackle bike theft in their area and three in ten said they would buy a second-hand bike over a new bike due to fears of theft. 

Cyclists have been advised to get bike insurance and use strong locks.

“It’s worth checking whether your home insurance offers appropriate cover for your bicycle, and if not to consider specialist bicycle insurance to ensure that you’ll always be able to get around on two wheels,” said Conrad-Pickles.

Superintendent Cleland added: “We are working with our partners to help encourage people to choose the very best locks and to ensure that they are locked appropriately in secure areas.”

Image courtesy of Mikey via Flickr, with thanks.

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