scary stats

mr_eddy Posts: 830
edited October 2012 in Road general
I was listening to the radio at work this morning and a guy was talking about the ever increasing problem with bike theft especially in places like London / Birmingham etc.

Whilst I always knew that bike got stole all the time I had no idea of how bad it is especially in London, This is a transcript from the interview with a bike theft officer from the Met:

Interviewer: How bad is the problem ?
Officer: We get over 200 hundred calls a day for bike theft often alot more but that is how many are reported
Interviewer: So what do I do if I need to lock my bike up in central London ?
Officer: I suggest you either use a bike friendly car park such as NCP or Euro Parcs as they often have secure bike sheds for a small charge or get a cheap second hand bike that is not worth stealing ?
Interviewer: What about a very secure lock ?
Officer: The longest it took our test team to break the top 3 best locks we could find on the market using standard DIY tools was 78 seconds so regardless of what lock you have your bike is not safe on the street.
Interviewer: Surely I can leave my bike locked up for a brief period ?
Officer: We have calculated using the evidence and statistics we have that a bike in Central London locked up has a average 'SAFE' time of 17 minutes before its stolen.

17 minutes! that is it, the obvious choice is don't put your nice bike anywhere where you cannot see it or if you have to use a proper car park with Security Guards and CCTV. If the MET can get a bike away from the top 3 locks money can buy in under 2 minutes then it makes you wonder what a scum bag drug addict could do it in when he is desperate for the next fix !

Personally I have learned from bitter experience and I ALWAYS keep my bike with me, I take it into the office and even the local shop (most shop keepers don't mind if you bring ya bike in). When I need to go into the city I get a bus. Simple


  • 200 bikes a day is a lot, but the 17 minute statistic doesn't sound right. Does the officer mean that IF your bike is stolen then it will be on average 17 minutes after you parked it ?
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    200 bikes a day is a lot, but the 17 minute statistic doesn't sound right. Does the officer mean that IF your bike is stolen then it will be on average 17 minutes after you parked it ?

    It's probably the other way round - their stats will probably simply show that no thefts are recorded within 17 minutes of the bike being left.

    If the stats were a bit smarter they might take into account the behaviour of thieves who watch someone lock a bike up and how long it is before they go into action but I suspect they aren't that detailed.
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  • I'd Imagine that the 17 min stat is distorted by a large number of bikes being stolen within seconds of someone leaving them to pop into a shop.

    Also 200 bikes a day sounds like a lot but doesn't the Met cover something like 7-8 million people when you count those commuting into London to work?
  • Also, while someone may be able to break a lock, it will still put them off. I remember reading about a Squire D lock that managed to break several pairs of bolt cutters and had to be removed by angle grinder by the Fire Brigade (thieves had ruined the lock barrel and given up on trying to get it off)
  • Hoopdriver
    Hoopdriver Posts: 2,023
    I am very skeptical of the 17 minute 'safe' time, at least as it comes across in the interview, and his claim of taking no more than 78 seconds to cut the best locks on the market with simple DIY tools just doesn't ring true at all. Presumably he is talking about the likes of top-tier Gold Secure Abus, Kryptonite and Pragmasis locks. Very skeptical of that.
  • Having worked in an LBS for a few years we have had to 'break' all kinds of locks off bikes after people lost their keys etc. So I can believe a good tea-leaf would be able to get them off in that time. Must admit that when I leave my bike locked up, it's not theft proof, just a lot harder to steal than the ones around it... Usually combine a bid D-lock with a couple of armoured chains. Not a nice way to think but it's worked so far!
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  • if it is 200 a day that means 70,000+ bikes a year in London .............. where do they all go!

    Put trackers into the frames would be a good start maybe
  • if it is 200 a day that means 70,000+ bikes a year in London .............. where do they all go

    Its not 70,000 bike stolen - its the same group of 10,000 bikes which are stolen, bought and stolen again about 7 times a year :)
  • rodgers73
    rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
    Might explain why there are so many folk riding around on really crappy old 1980s racing bikes that look like they've just been dragged out of a shed. Unless that was some sort of pathetic fashion...
  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    I wonder if this is like the old stat that more Nikon cameras were stolen than have ever been made. Which while technically possible, probably represents a degree of fraud. I'm therefore wondering if the 200 a day includes some fraud. Perhaps then the stat of 17 mins, is based on avg. length of stay.

    We have an underground car private car park which can only be accessed by a car lift through security doors and yet weve had bikes pinched from there (all-be-it unlocked ones).
  • plowmar
    plowmar Posts: 1,032
    Irrispective of the time taken to break a lock by the police it is surely better to have a good lock compared to those bikes around yours, on the same basis that an operating house alarm stopped burglars, not because they couldn't be circumvented but that it was too much hassel for the burglar, and there were easier targets.