Whatever type of bike you have, there are several simple ways to keep it safe.
Record and register your bike
Record your bicycle's model, make and frame number. This helps the police to return recovered bikes to their rightful owners. Take a clear, colour photograph of your bike and keep a written record of its description, including any unique features, so that you can report it accurately.
BikeRegister is the UK's leading online bicycle identification and registration initiative. It aims to reduce cycle theft, identify stolen bikes and help owners recover their bikes.
Security mark your bicycle
Add security marks to your bike. They should be placed in at least 2 separate locations, preferably on or in the frame. At least 1 of these locations should not be clearly visible.
Advertise that the bike is security marked and provide clear information via the visible mark. This will quickly allow the police to identify the method of security marking or tagging, and identify the owner. Consider using a tamper-resistant label or an inaccessible electronic device.
Essex Police offer free cycle marking in Thurrock. Contact the crime reduction officer on 101
Keep your bike out of public view
More than half of all bicycle thefts take place from the owner's property. Simple crime prevention can lessen your chances of having your bicycle stolen. Your bike should be:
- kept in a secure, locked garage or shed
- secured to an immovable object. Consider installing a floor or wall-mounted anchor lock for extra security
Avoid leaving your bike in isolated or dimly lit places. If your bike is very expensive, don't lock it in the same place on a regular basis, so it won't be noticed and stolen to order.
Always lock your bicycle, even if you only leave it for a couple of minutes. Lock your bike to an immovable object. Remember thieves can remove drainpipes and lift bikes off signposts.
Secure you bike by:
- locking it through the frame:
- securing removable parts
- locking both wheels and the frame together
- making the lock, chain and bike hard to manoeuvre when parked, to stop thieves smashing the lock open
- keeping the gap between the bike and the lock small
- never leaving the lock lying on the pavement. A lock can be sledge hammered easily when it's resting on the ground
- fitting security fasteners on wheels, headsets and seat posts
- taking small parts and accessories with you. This includes anything that can be removed without tools, for example lights, pumps, computers, panniers and quick-release saddles