Business in the Community

Cycle Security

Keep your bike secure or avoid theft

Doing all you can to improve cycle security is important.

Cycle theft stops people cycling - research shows that it acts as a major barrier to cycling; 1 in 4 victims do not replace their bike and therefore do not continue to cycle.

Using the Home Office ‘Economic and Social Costs of Crime’ figures, the true cost of cycle theft, which incorporates the cost to victim and associated criminal justice costs, equals £611 per crime (recalculated to represent 2010 prices). When this figure is considered in context - over a 100,000 bicycles are stolen in England and Wales each year – it is clear to see why minimising cycle security must be a priority.

There are a few simple steps cycle owners can take to significantly reduce the likelihood of their bike being stolen.

1. Buy two good quality locks – expect to spend at least 10% of the value of your bike on locks

  • Lock both wheels and the frame to a cycle stand or other immoveable object
  • Secure your lock so it does not touch the ground
  • Lock 'tight' so that your cycle is hard to move around when parked
  • Park your cycle where it can be seen


Image courtesy of Bikeoff at Design Against Crime Research Centre

Find out more about which locks to buy at the London Cycling Campaign website or visit the Metropolitan Police Service website to watch a video on good locking practice

2. Get Your Bike Marked and Registered
Thieves know that it they are caught with a stolen bicycle that the police cannot find an owner for, they cannot be charged – ‘no victim, no crime’.

Recording the details of your bike is key!

Getting your bicycle security marked and registered acts as a visible deterrent to potential cycle thieves as they know your bike is traceable, and reduces your chances of being a victim of cycle theft. It also highlights to the Police your bike is registered, improving the chances of your bike being returned to you.

The bike should be marked with a chemical etch and a hard wearing sticker which quickly warns potential thieves that that your bike is registered on an online bicycle registration database, as illustrated below. This unique marking is simple and quick to apply to the frame of the bike and takes just a few minutes to dry. Details of the owner and their bike are then placed registered online and a logbook can be downloaded as proof of ownership.

Bikeregister chemical etch Bikeregister warning sticker -  ‘businesscycle’ are working with Bikeregister the UK’s leading online bike identification and registration initiative, to reduce cycle theft.

By signing up to ‘businessycycle’ you can get a 10% discount for Bikeregister marking products - find out more in the members offer pages.

3. What happens if your bicycle is stolen?

You should always report this immediately to the police – if the police are not made aware of the crime, they cannot act upon it. Provide as much information as you can, including:

• The frame number (and Bikeregister reference is applicable)
• Type of bike - make and model
• Any other distinguishable features
• A photo
• Details of where and when it was stolen

4. How to avoid buying a stolen bicycle


Help us reduce cycle theft by doing all you can to not buy a stolen bicycle. If there was no demand, the thieves would not steal the bikes int he first place.

The London Cycling Campaign has some easy to follow tips on how to avoid buying a stolen bicycle:



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