Carry bike parts with you, Cambridgeshire police tell cyclists

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Stop thieves from taking your bike parts by carrying them with you, police are telling cyclists.

Stringent guidelines have been issued to deter ‘bike cannibals’ - a term used by Cambridgeshire police to describe people who strip parts of unwary owners’ cycles before making away.

The six points of advice include always using two types of locks and taking away all removable and quick release parts, such as lights, when leaving the bike.

However, a national cycling charity believe the advice is not enough to encourage people to get on their bikes.

Sam Jones, campaigns coordinator at CTC, said: “For many the risk of theft can be enough to put people off making short cycling journeys, such as to work or the shops.

“Secure bike parking is particularly important. This saves cyclists from the added burden of having to remove vital bike bits such as the saddle or handlebars every time they leave their wheels for a long period of time.”

The number of reported incidents of stolen bikes in Peterborough has gone up recently. Between January 2013 and January 2014 there were a total of 798 reported incidents of stolen bicycles in Peterborough.

That figure rose to 886 reported incidents in the following 12 months.

Police and the Crown Prosecution Service both said they did not have figures for successful prosecutions of bike thefts.

A police spokeswoman added: “It is not acceptable for these types of incidents to happen, however there are measures people can put in place to deter thieves.”

For many the risk of theft can be enough to put people off making short cycling journeys, such as to work or the shops.

Sam Jones

Matthew Barber is programme manager for smarter choices at the East of England branch of Sustrans, a UK charity which aims to get more people using sustainable travel methods such as cycling.

He said: “I think the advice is sensible and I would echo what is said. There are always going to be opportunistic people out there who will go for bikes that are poorly locked.

“I will always use two types of lock. It only takes about 30 seconds to do it.

“All the police can try and do is educate people to the best of their ability.”

Police advice

Cambridgeshire Police have pulled together a list of six pieces of advice for cyclists to follow to stop them from having their bikes, or parts of their bikes, stolen.

The advice comes as figures revealed by police show that the number of reported bike thefts in Peterborough has risen by nearly 100 in the 12 months up to January 2015 compared to the previous year.

Lock your bike through both wheels and frame, and also to an immovable object such as a lamppost or bike rack. The advice is to:

Pull the lock tight so it is tightly secured around the bike and hard to move around.

Always use two different locks. A “D” type lock and heavy duty chain are best.

Look for ‘Sold Secure’ approved locks.

Lock your bike in a well-lit public area with other bikes if possible.

Where possible do not leave you bike for prolonged periods of time unattended.

Where possible avoid locking your bike in the same place on a regular basis.

Where possible take all removable and quick release parts with you.