Neighbourhood / Rural Watch

Warwickshire Police: Advice On Bicycle Theft Prevention

         Advice On Bicycle Theft Prevention



More and more people are cycling and this means more bicycles are in use. Unfortunately more bicycles mean more opportunity for theft. The British Crime Survey reports that more than half a million bicycles are stolen each year. You can help keep your bike secure by following the below advice.

Having spent a considerable amount of money on your bicycle you should then invest in good quality locks to secure it. You should look for products that have been tested against attack and select locks that resist attack for the longest time. Check out for certified locks. If you don’t know whether a lock has been tested, check the packaging – it is likely to say if it has. Price is not necessarily a reliable indicator of quality.

Hardened steel D-shaped locks and sturdy chain locks are recommended. Be prepared to spend 10% of the value of your bike on locks. It is always best to use two locks. Go for two different types of lock, for example a strong D lock and a sturdy chain lock. This means that a thief will need different tools to break each lock, making theft less likely.

You should always lock your bike to an immoveable object. Always make use of purpose built cycle sheds with high quality bike stands. Lock both wheels and the frame of your bike to the bike stand.

Record and register your bike. Take a clear colour photograph of your bike and make

a written record of its description, including any unique features, so that you can report it

accurately if it is stolen – this will help prove it is yours if it is recovered by the police. The college has been supplied with cycle descriptive forms for this purpose.

Register your bicycle model, make and frame number with a third party. (The frame

number is often underneath the bottom bracket where the pedals attach, or on the

frame under the seat.) Again this will help anyone who subsequently finds (or even

buys) it to check whether it is stolen and return it to you. Some registration schemes

allow you to register individual bike parts that have serial numbers.

If you add an additional security mark or tag to your bike, this will again make it easier

to identify as yours. The mark may be obvious, which should help deter thieves; or hidden, such as ultraviolet; or there may be a combination of both. Clearly visible marks should be securely applied.


A hidden mark or electronic tag is less likely to be identified and removed by thieves.

For further information see


Ian King

Crime Prevention Design Advisor

Warwickshire Police