Merseyside bike thefts rise with more people cycling amid cost of living crisis - how to secure your bicycle

The cost-of-living crisis and prices of fuel have meant more people are cycling.

It has been revealed that Merseyside is one of the top five areas with the biggest increase of bike thefts in England.

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that between 2020 and 2021, Merseyside saw bike thefts across the region increase by 12%. Leicestershire saw the highest increase of 23%.

In 2020, Merseyside Police recorded 1,521 bicycle thefts versus 1,710 in 2021. It is expected that figures for this year will be higher again, with 1,823 recorded cases in the year up to June 2022.

Comparethemarket ranked Merseyside as having the fourth highest increase in bike thefts last year, and also noted Greater Manchester to be the third most at risk area.

The money comparison site also predicted a whopping 72,445 bike thefts across England by the end of this year.

Increased risk to riders

Increased cost-of-living and prices of fuel have meant more people have been ditching the car and travelling to work by bicycle.

Recent data from CyclingUK shows that compared to last year, cycling levels in England rose by 47% on weekdays and 27% on weekends in the five months to the end of July.

However, whilst there are many benefits to choosing cycling over driving, an increase in bike users also means more opportunities for thieves.

Cyclists in Sefton Park. Image: Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images

How to protect your bicycle

Merseyside Police have 10 tips for helping to prevent the theft of your bicycle:

  1. Double lock it -using two locks slows thieves down and makes your bike less of a target. Use two quality locks, at least one of which is a D-lock.
  2. Lock the lot - lock the frame and both wheels to a secure cycle stand.
  3. Secure it - secure your bike as close to the stand as possible to give any thieves little or no room to manoeuvre.
  4. Take parts that are easy to remove with you, such as wheels, lights, baskets or the saddle.
  5. Park securely - lock your bike at recognised secure cycle parking. It should be well lit and covered by CCTV.
  6. Register it - register your bike online.
  7. Mark it - get it security marked.
  8. Remember safety begins at home - lock your bike safely at home
  9. Check ownership - ask for proof of ownership and check the bike frame number on a cycle database such as Bike Checker at BikeRegister.
  10. Act fast - if your bike has been stolen, contact the police as soon as possible by calling 101 or reporting online.