THE WORST PLACES TO LEAVE YOUR BIKE REVEALED
This month, Protect Your Bubble published a list of the top 100 bicycle theft hotspots, based on an analysis of recorded crime data from every police force in England and Wales, covering the year to September 2016.
Here’s what we found…
- The worst place in to leave your bike is Elder Gate at Milton Keynes railway station
- In the 12 months to September nearly 82,000 bikes were stolen – that’s 227 every day or nearly 1,600 a week
- In almost three quarters (72%) of incidents the thieves got away with it
The research shows that parking your bike at a railway station carries the highest risk of it being stolen and that thieves also frequently target shopping centres, car parks, hospitals and colleges.
The latest police records for the 12 months to September this year show the locations where nearly 82,000 bikes were stolen. That’s 227 every day or nearly 1,600 a week. In 72% of incidents the thieves got away with it as the records show that no suspect was identified and the investigation was closed.
The worst place in to leave your bike is Elder Gate at Milton Keynes railway station. In the past year 72 bikes were stolen from the parking area on the street and a further 19 from another location on the road, which runs around the front of the station.
Another area next to a railway station comes second on a list of the worst locations for bike theft – Meridian Square, next to Stratford railway station in Newham, East London. The square is near to upmarket shopping centre Westfield, and the entrance to the Olympic Park.
Third on the street of shame list for cycle theft is Station Road in Cambridge. As its name indicates, it is once again a location by a mainline railway station that is a top target for the thieves.
|Top Bike Theft Locations in England & Wales – October 2015 to September 2016|
|Rank||Location||City/Borough Council Area||Number of Thefts|
|1||Elder Gate||Milton Keynes||72|
|4||Ring Road North||Birmingham||62|
Cambridge is exposed in the research by Protect Your Bubble as the bike theft capital of the country. The area covered by Cambridge City Council clocked up 2,173 thefts in the 12 months and streets within the city account for 13 of the top 100 bike theft locations listed in the police data, more than any other local authority area.
The top five city and council areas also include Manchester, Birmingham, Oxford and Hackney – the favourite hipster hangout in northeast London.
|Bike thefts October 2015 to September 2016|
|Rank||City/Borough Council area||Number of Thefts|
The bike theft problem in Cambridge and its great university rival, Oxford, is underlined when the thefts are calculated per 1,000 residents.
The overall rate for England and Wales is 1.4 thefts per 1,000 people. In Cambridge it’s 16.6 and in Oxford 9.1.
|Rank||City/Borough Council||Bike thefts||Population||Thefts per 1,000 pop|
|7||Hammersmith and Fulham||852||179,410||4.7|
Places where cycling is most popular are targeted by thieves. Government figures on physical activity show that across England 9.5% of adults cycle at least once a week. In Cambridge it’s 52%, Oxford 33%, Hackney 19% and York 27% – all places with the highest prevalence of bike thefts, according to the police records.
When taken as a whole, including all the 33 boroughs, London has over a fifth of reported thefts with nearly 18,000 recorded by the Met and the City of London Police.
Perhaps the safest place to leave a bicycle is West Devon which registered only four bike thefts in the past 12 months.
South Hams, also in Devon, the Isles of Scilly and Rutland councils all had bike thefts in single figures, according to the police.
The location data recorded by the police reveals 13 colleges and 11 car parks among the top 100 places where thieves struck most frequently. Eight city centre shopping areas are also listed, including Cardiff, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Derby, Leicester, Manchester, Portsmouth and Haringey in London. There are also five hospitals in the top 100 locations where a total of 111 bikes were recorded as stolen.
Rob Basinger, head of UK at bicycle insurer Protect Your Bubble said: “When you contrast the cycle theft rate for Oxbridge with England and Wales, it’s abundantly clear these university towns are as popular with thieves as students. There’s no safety in numbers, either. In towns like Cambridge, a high number of cyclists results in a high number of thefts.
“Bike theft is a nationwide issue but there are some streets that stand out as having a particular problem. Commuters leaving bikes at railway stations for any length of the time stand a chance of being targeted.
“If you have to leave your bike on the street then make sure it is locked securely and, as with any item of value, if you think it may be at risk then consider taking out insurance for extra peace of mind.”
The table below shows the top 100 hotspots for bicycle theft in England and Wales:
|Rank||No of Thefts||Road||City/Borough||Force Area|
|1||72||Elder Gate||Milton Keynes||Thames Valley Police|
|2||71||Meridian Square||Newham||Metropolitan Police Service|
|3||63||Station Road||Cambridge||Cambridgeshire Constabulary|
|4||62||Ring Road North||Birmingham||West Midlands Police|
|6||51||Commercial Road||Portsmouth||Hampshire Constabulary|
|7||50||Brunel Way||Slough||Thames Valley Police|
|8||49||Piccadilly||Manchester||Greater Manchester Police|
|9||47||Chartwell Square||Southend-on-Sea||Essex Police|
|10||46||Arundel Street||Portsmouth||Hampshire Constabulary|
|11||43||Duke Street||Cardiff||South Wales Police|
|12||42||Market Street||Manchester||Greater Manchester Police|
|13||41||Wharton Place||Cardiff||South Wales Police|
|14||40||Laundry Road||Southampton||Hampshire Constabulary|
|15||38||Court Drive, Dunstable||Central Bedfordshire||Bedfordshire Police|
|16||38||Clifton Way||Cambridge||Cambridgeshire Constabulary|
|17||38||West Carriage Drive, Hyde Park||Westminster||Metropolitan Police Service|
|18||38||West Street||Reading||Thames Valley Police|
|19||36||Hills Road||Cambridge||Cambridgeshire Constabulary|
|20||35||Bridge Street||Luton||Bedfordshire Police|
|21||35||Oxford Road||Manchester||Greater Manchester Police|
|22||33||Dean’s Court||Peterborough||Cambridgeshire Constabulary|
|23||33||Gonville Place||Cambridge||Cambridgeshire Constabulary|
|24||33||Blackshaw Road, Tooting||Wandsworth||Metropolitan Police Service|
|25||31||Parking Area, Sherwood Pines Forest Park||Newark and Sherwood||Nottinghamshire Police|
|26||30||Park Street||Cambridge||Cambridgeshire Constabulary|
|27||30||Tauheed Close||Hackney||Metropolitan Police Service|
|28||30||Clifton Boulevard||Nottingham||Nottinghamshire Police|
|29||29||Downing College, Regent Street||Cambridge||Cambridgeshire Constabulary|
|30||29||UCL, Gower Street||Camden||Metropolitan Police Service|
|32||28||Clissold Road||Hackney||Metropolitan Police Service|
|33||28||Waterloo Road||Lambeth||Metropolitan Police Service|
|34||28||Victoria Square||Leeds||West Yorkshire Police|
|35||27||Leeds University, Woodhouse Lane||Leeds||West Yorkshire Police|
|36||26||Park Street||Cambridge||Cambridgeshire Constabulary|
|37||26||West Bargate||Southampton||Hampshire Constabulary|
|38||26||High Street||Leicester||Leicestershire Police|
|39||26||Church Gate||Leicester||Leicestershire Police|
|40||26||South Lambeth Place||Lambeth||Metropolitan Police Service|
|41||26||Station Approach||Reading||Thames Valley Police|
|42||26||Westgate||Birmingham||West Midlands Police|
|43||25||Burleigh Street||Cambridge||Cambridgeshire Constabulary|
|44||25||Stovell Road||Windsor and Maidenhead||Thames Valley Police|
|45||24||Mortimer Road||Cambridge||Cambridgeshire Constabulary|
|46||24||Hull University, Cottingham Road||Kingston upon Hull||Humberside Police|
|47||24||De Montford University, Mayors Walk||Leicester||Leicestershire Police|
|48||24||Broad Lane||Haringey||Metropolitan Police Service|
|49||24||Magdalen Street||Oxford||Thames Valley Police|
|51||23||London Road||Derby||Derbyshire Constabulary|
|52||23||Stonehills||Welwyn Hatfield||Hertfordshire Constabulary|
|53||23||Lambeth Palace Road||Lambeth||Metropolitan Police Service|
|54||23||Maples Place||Tower Hamlets||Metropolitan Police Service|
|55||23||Nightingale Place||Kensington and Chelsea||Metropolitan Police Service|
|56||23||Pepper Lane||Coventry||West Midlands Police|
|57||22||Victoria Street||St Albans||British Transport Police|
|58||22||Warren Close||Cambridge||Cambridgeshire Constabulary|
|59||22||East Street||Derby||Derbyshire Constabulary|
|60||22||Stamford New Road||Trafford||Greater Manchester Police|
|61||22||Queen Street||Cardiff||South Wales Police|
|62||22||Wood Street||Cardiff||South Wales Police|
|63||22||Birmingham Women’s Hospital, Mindelsohn Way||Birmingham||West Midlands Police|
|64||21||Duke Street||Chelmsford||British Transport Police|
|65||21||Brighton Place||Manchester||Greater Manchester Police|
|66||21||Hardman Street||Manchester||Greater Manchester Police|
|67||21||Portland Street||Portsmouth||Hampshire Constabulary|
|68||21||Ariel Way||Hammersmith and Fulham||Metropolitan Police Service|
|70||20||Alder Lane||Warrington||Cheshire Constabulary|
|71||20||Eastgate Shopping Cente||Gloucester||Gloucestershire Constabulary|
|72||20||Post Office Lane||Cheltenham||Gloucestershire Constabulary|
|73||20||St Peter’s Square||Manchester||Greater Manchester Police|
|74||20||Broadway Market||Hackney||Metropolitan Police Service|
|75||20||New Ealing Broadway||Ealing||Metropolitan Police Service|
|76||20||Saint Leonard’s Place||York||North Yorkshire Police|
|77||20||Blossomfield Road||Solihull||West Midlands Police|
|78||19||Silver Street||Cambridge||Cambridgeshire Constabulary|
|79||19||Ravenfield Road||Welwyn Hatfield||Hertfordshire Constabulary|
|80||19||University Road||Charnwood||Leicestershire Police|
|81||19||Saint Mark’s Square||Lincoln||Lincolnshire Police|
|82||19||Mile End Road||Tower Hamlets||Metropolitan Police Service|
|83||19||Watermead Way||Haringey||Metropolitan Police Service|
|84||19||University Hosptial Wales, Heath Park Road||Cardiff||South Wales Police|
|85||19||Elder Gate||Milton Keynes||Thames Valley Police|
|86||19||John Radcliffe Hospital, Headley Way||Oxford||Thames Valley Police|
|87||19||High Street||Oxford||Thames Valley Police|
|88||18||St Tibb’s Row||Cambridge||Cambridgeshire Constabulary|
|89||18||High Street||Chelmsford||Essex Police|
|90||18||University of Portsmouth, Cambridge Road||Portsmouth||Hampshire Constabulary|
|91||18||Tannery Lane||Ashford||Kent Police|
|92||18||Gravel Street||Leicester||Leicestershire Police|
|93||18||North Promenade||Sefton||Merseyside Police|
|94||18||Victoria Street||Liverpool||Merseyside Police|
|95||18||Loop Road||Newham||Metropolitan Police Service|
|96||18||Prince Regent Road||Hounslow||Metropolitan Police Service|
|97||18||Brixton Road||Lambeth||Metropolitan Police Service|
|98||18||Cambridge Heath Road||Tower Hamlets||Metropolitan Police Service|
|99||18||Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, Colney Road||South Norfolk||Norfolk Constabulary|
|100||18||University of East Anglia, Suffolk Road||Norwich||Norfolk Constabulary|
Source: Data.police.uk, analysed by Protect Your Bubble
Methodology: Based on the most recent recorded crime data from all police forces in England and Wales covering the 12 months October 2015 to September 2016.
Data source links:
If you’re a journalist, and you need any more information, please contact:
Emily Garnham, Rhizome Media