A bicycle is stolen on average every minute; with less than 5% of those returned as they're difficult for the Police to identify the owner. Current research suggests that cyclists are more likely to have their bicycles stolen than car owners their cars these days! - Bicycle theft has doubled since the mid 1990s, probably due to the increasing popularity of expensive models and innovative ways of selling stolen goods online.
Always lock your bicycle wherever you leave it – it only takes seconds to steal an unsecured bike. Make sure it's locked in a well-lit public area with lots of people passing. Stations and public buildings often have designated areas with bicycle racks - Be sure to plan ahead and check out amenities in the places you need to leave your bicycle - remember to read signs in the area you intend to park being sure not to park illegally.
Only use a good quality D-lock. A poor quality lock at the lower end of the market can be easily sawn through or bolt cropped in seconds. It certainly pays to invest in the best quality lock you can afford. Always lock your bicycle to something immovable, an object a bicycle cannot be lifted over and cannot be broke, cut or removed i.e. chain link fencing, grilles, gates or trees - check the object is fastened to the ground. For maximum protection use two locks of different types (a D-lock and robust chain and padlock is ideal) Use each lock to catch the wheels, frame and stand – Fill up as much of the space within the D-lock as possible with the bicycle. (See the diagram left)
As many as half of all bicycles are stolen from the owner's home – Always lock your bike at home even when it is in your garage, apartment or dorm. Please be vigilant when returning from a ride!! Consider investing in a ground anchor and attach it securely to a wall or concrete floor. Make sure you keep your bicycle out of view of prying eyes as this alone will provide an irresistible incentive to break in to your property.
If you own a decent bicycle then it is probably a good idea to insure it. There are several ways you can do this; Insure your bicycle on your home contents insurance – don't forget to cover it for thefts away from home. More expensive bicycles may require specific insurance cover against theft and accidental damage.
Before registering your bicycle on Immobilize take a photograph and along with this record the frame number and any key details such as make and model. Mark your frame with your postcode in two separate locations if possible, one of which should be hidden. Collectively this information stored on your Immobilize account will be crucial in recovering your bicycle should it be lost or stolen. It is important to consider that the frame or other identifiable codes could be removed by a thief and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Tagging of your bicycle is highly recommended (See diagram left) as its virtually impossible to remove from the bicycle's frame!