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Cardiff declared bike theft capital

Written by: Emma Lunn
Residents of the Welsh capital are seeing bikes stolen at a rate of 183 per 100,000 people.

Cardiff, Southampton and Nottingham are the English and Welsh cities were cyclists are most likely to have their bikes stolen.

Cyclists in Southampton are having bikes stolen at a rate of 146 per 100,000 people, and those in Nottingham at a rate of 127 per 100,000 people.

The figures come from price comparison site which researched bicycle theft rates in the 20 largest cities in England and Wales.

The statistics have been released to encourage cyclists to ensure their two wheels are properly insured.

Perhaps surprisingly, London doesn’t make the top 10, coming 12th with an incident rate of 73 thefts per 100,000 people.

Cycling has boomed in popularity under lockdown. Data from Sport England shows the number of people cycling each week rose from 8% to 16 % between 1 April and 18 May.

This growth looks set to continue once restrictions are eased, with many commuters expected to opt for bicycles in order to avoid overcrowded public transport where possible.

With the average bike costing £480 and an increasingly important mode of transport, MoneySupermarket is calling on all cyclists to ensure that their bikes are properly insured against the risk of theft and accidents.

Kate Devine, home spokesperson at MoneySupermarket, says: “Cycling is experiencing another major boost in popularity which looks set to continue once lockdown restrictions are eased – particularly because more Brits are likely to use bicycles for commuting.

“With bicycle use increasing so too does the risk of theft. With the average bike costing £480, a stolen uninsured bike is a big blow to the wallet that will leave many without their preferred means of getting to work once lockdown is over.

“Don’t assume that your bike is covered under your home insurance policy. Some insurers will only cover it if it is stored in your home – or secured in an outbuilding like a shed. If your bike is stolen from outside your property, it’s also possible your policy might not pay out. So definitely check with your policy provider to understand what it covers and what it doesn’t.

“You can also consider specialist bicycle insurance. Such policies often cover accidental damage and third party insurance in case you injure another person or damage their car or bicycle.”

Top tips for keeping your bike safe

  • Get the best lock money can buy

The more expensive a lock, the better it will be at protecting your bike from theft – D-locks are often the most secure.

Lock manufacturers have their own ratings for levels of protection and these can be read as an indicator of security. If you use anything other than an approved lock brand or level of security, then your insurance claim could be rejected.

  • Lock your bike properly, in the safest location

Make sure to attach your bike to something that can’t be moved or lifted, as your bike is only as secure as the thing you attach it to.

Never leave your bike in an isolated place, instead choose to lock it in a well-lit area that people pass frequently and, if possible, with CCTV near to your location.

  • Register and insure your bike is the UK’s leading registration service and is used by the police. Registering your bike will help police identify it if it’s stolen and increase the chance of you getting it back.

A bike insurance policy not only insures you against theft, either inside or outside the home, but will protect you from damage incurred from vandalism or accidents. You can also insure for personal accident and public liability so that if you damage someone else’s property or person, you’re covered.

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