Beat the Thief: tackling bike theft must be a priority

An estimated 100,000 bikes are stolen every year across Greater London, and two-thirds of victims don’t go out and buy another one.

So as well as being a huge problem for individuals, bike theft is a major barrier to cycling growth.

All cyclists are advised to register the frame number of their bike online at, and to use good locks, and consider theft insurance.

Our Beat The Thief campaign has the following objectives to crack crime:

  1. Expansion of the police anti-theft squad Thanks to our lobbying, a dedicated police team now tackles cycle theft, but it still can’t cope with the number of reported thefts. More officers are needed.
  2. Tougher action against selling stolen on websites Stolen bikes are too often found being resold on websites like Gumtree and eBay. Thyeey need tougher rules on seller identification, real photos and frame numbers.
  3. Code of practice for secondhand bike shops Bike shops must make proper checks on seller identification and bike provenance, signing our code of practice to demonstrate their good standards.
  4. Zero tolerance for illegal sales at street markets Well-known locations for selling stolen bikes such as Brick Lane market must be policed much more aggressively, making these no-go areas for bike thieves.
  5. Create a central repository for recovered bikes A central location where people could recover stolen bikes would make it easier to unite owners with the large number of bikes that are recovered.
  6. Increase secure parking provision Thousands more secure cycle parking spaces need to be built for homes, estates, shops, educational institutions, workplaces and transport hubs.