Did you see BBC’s X Ray programme last night? The programme was talking about how bike owners can protect themselves from thieves and they interviewed our very own PC Adam Lang from Blackwood.
We’ve had a recent spate of high value bike thefts and PC Lang was talking about how bike owners can make it more difficult for thieves to target them. Whilst it’s not clear how high values bikes have been stolen in the Caerphilly County area, PC Lang is keen to ensure some owners take some simple steps to help themselves.
Always lock your bike
When you are not riding your bike, you should always keep it securely locked. To cutting the risk of bike theft make sure you use good lock or two and use it effectively.
Some locks are stronger than others and price reflects their quality, so it pays to invest in a good one- opt for a "Sold Secure" lock. Remember that two locks are better than one. D-locks are sturdy, but consider using a cable lock as well to secure any parts of the bike which are quick release, such as the saddle or front wheel.
Use locks to secure the frame, spokes and bike stand, ensuring there is little room for manoeuvre to make it difficult for thieves to insert their tools.
Finally, make sure you are attaching your lock to an immovable object, such as sturdy bike stand or railing.
Social media and tracking apps
Whether you’re sharing a picture of your new bike or tracking your new challenge route, social media has changed how we view and value cycling. Cycling network apps encourage users to publicise their location, track daily rides and post pictures of their bikes or new cycling gear. However, organised thieves are now using these apps, and other forms of social media, to source desirable bikes to steal for order or to sell on. By following some simple advice and taking a few precautions you can minimise the risk of being a target of digital bike crime:
Avoid posting pictures of your bike on social media as thieves can often find out your location from the geo-tag on pictures.
Edit the privacy settings on your social media and tracking apps and don’t accept strangers to follow or add you as a ‘friend’.
When using tracking apps, don’t start or stop you GPS tracker outside your house. Some tracking apps allow you to set an exclusion zone your location will never be posted in the area of your house or work place.
Keep a record
As soon as you buy your bike, record the frame number, make and any other marks that can identify your bike if it is stolen and keep this information in a safe place. It is also useful to take photographs of your bike from various angles, to help with identification and insurance if it gets stolen.
You can register your bike with immobilise.com which is UK wide, a service used by the police to match found bikes to their rightful owners. To register you’ll need to find your frame number, which is usually near the handlebars, below the seat post, by the pedals or towards the back wheel.
Check if your home insurance policy covers your bike automatically, of if you need to add it as an extra. Valuable bikes may need to be insured separately to provide cover when you’re out and about. Find out if the insurance company requires you to produce a purchase receipt, photograph of the bike or frame number to support a potential claim.
If you missed BBC’s X Ray last night, it’s still available to watch on BBC iPlayer.