It’s essential to take every possible precaution when securing your bike – now more than ever. The number of stolen motorbikes in London increased by 50% between 2014 and 2016, and approximately 15,000 scooters, mopeds and motorbikes were stolen in the city between June 2016 and June 2017.
To make matters worse, many of these were later used to commit crimes. Take our advice: brush up on these seven top tips, courtesy of the Metropolitan Police, to ensure that your bike remains precisely that – yours.
Whatever you do, don’t place your bike lock on the ground. According to the Metropolitan Police, thieves often use the pavement, road or whatever they can to break loose locks, so secure them to the frame and/or rear wheel, but not the front wheel (which can be easily removed).
The Met also recommends using multiple locks, preferably of a different type – such as a disc lock plus a chain lock.
Experienced thieves won’t think twice about literally lifting an entire bike into a van and making off with it. The Met’s advice: “Secure your bike to an immovable object, such as ground anchors, railings or lamp posts.”
There are an estimated 13,924 CCTV cameras in London alone, but simply parking your bike under the watchful eye of Big Brother won’t make it safe. Always try to park your vehicle in plain sight – i.e. in a well-lit location close to foot traffic and cameras.
The more barriers between bikes and baddies, the better. Thieves will often “shop” for specific models, so using a bike cover will make all the difference – especially if you own a shiny new Honda.
You’re more likely to have your motor stolen in the summer months, when more bikes are on the road and parking spaces are harder to come by. So be even more careful when the heat is on.
Got a garage? Great. Got a garage with windows? Not so great; they’re an open invitation for thieves. Do yourself a favour and slap some bars on them. Sure, it might not look pretty, but trust us – it works.
Whether you’ve got an old or new bike, rare or mass-produced, always follow the seven simple steps: 1) Secure a lock to the frame and/or rear wheel, 2) Use more than one lock, 3) Connect your lock to an immovable object, 4) Park in plain sight, 5) Use a cover to conceal your bike, 6) Be especially vigilant in summer and 7) Bar your garage windows.
Oh, and one more thing: don’t forget to remove your ignition keys!
Visit www.met.police.uk/scootersecurity for more information.