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Estimated 113,000 bikes stolen in UK since April

Will Strickson
18 Nov 2020

Research by Direct Line Home Insurance suggests increase in theft aligned with 14.5 million bikes purchased since start of first lockdown

Nearly 113,000 bikes are estimated to have been stolen in the UK since the beginning of the first lockdown, with research by Direct Line Home Insurance concluding that as many as 112,600 bikes may have been stolen.

The highest volume of thefts is in the City of London which saw 2,385 bikes stolen per 100,000 residents and where 10% of reported crimes are bike crimes. For context, Cambridgeshire, which has the second highest volume, had 158 bike thefts per 100,000 residents.

The study takes into account 32,700 bikes that were reported stolen from April to August along with the fact that 71% of bike thefts aren't reported.

This comes alongside, and correlates with, more positive reports that perhaps as many as 14.5 million new bikes, worth over £5 billion, have been purchased since March, with 9.1 million people buying at least one bike – when the survey data is extrapolated using the national adult population data.

Such an uptick in ownership this year could mean that 16 million more miles are being cycled each week, with the UK's total weekly miles now topping one billion, in part thanks to a 28% increase in people cycling to work.

Head of Direct Line Home Insurance, Dan Simson, said: 'With so many now relying heavily on their two wheels for travel and exercise, we would recommend investing in a strong D lock to deter thieves.

'As well as having home insurance with cover for personal possessions away from home included to reduce the risk of being hit with a hefty bill to get you back on the road.'