London Cycle Theft Survey

An online survey of 1800 London cyclists by Quanteze, commissioned by Stolen Ride and London Cycling Campaign puts the spotlight on the high level of cycle theft; the critical need for more bike stands in London; and the imperative to educate riders about using quality bike locks and good locking techniques.

More than 75% of the cyclists surveyed want to see more bike stands and the current lack of stands is forcing riders to lock bikes at less secure locations where theft is more likely.

Disturbingly, more than 45% of riders surveyed had at least one bicycle stolen and 19% said they had been victims of two or more bike thefts. The most common location for thefts was outside their place of work (13%). Of those who had bikes stolen, only 6% said they had it returned.


Want to see more bike stands


Had at least one bike stolen


Were victim of two or more bike thefts


Had a stolen bike returned

Nearly all (91%) of bikes stolen from a public place were locked; however a significant number of owners (46%) had only used cheaper cable-type locks. Following theft, virtually all riders (95%) stepped up their bike security, the use of different locks or locking systems being the most common change.


Of bikes stolen from a public place that were locked


Of victims used cheaper cable-type locks


Stepped up their bicycle security after a theft


Believe tracking devices will help recover more stolen bikes

Other findings:

  • London cyclists are heavily attached to their bikes. 47% classed their bikes as their most valued possession, more than 3 times as many as those who specified their car, PC or phone
  • 55% reported being ‘very concerned’ with the security of their bikes out and about in London
  • Many cyclists do not have theft insurance, 4 in 10 of the surveyed cyclists
  • 65% believe that better availability of cost effective tracking devices will help recover more stolen bikes

Richard Cantle, founder of Stolen Ride said: I’m focused on helping to tackle the issues highlighted by this survey and today I announce that I’m going to be rapidly expanding Stolen Ride into cycle theft prevention and education.

Tom Bogdanowicz from the London Cycling Campaign said: the theft survey highlights the need for more cycle stands in London as well as the need to use good locks and insure your bike against theft. LCC members can benefit from preferential rates on theft insurance, inclusive third party insurance, and discounts on cycling brands and accessories.

Anonymous quotes from respondents:

Cyclists still lock bikes incorrectly fuelling the market in stolen bikes; need to educate cyclist’s best way to lock bikes. Quick release wheels should be replaced with key-locking wheel nuts on most bikes sold in London.

We need more static places to lock bikes – in some parts of London it can take me 5-10 minutes to find an appropriate place to lock my bike.

When I had my bike stolen I had a cheap lock. I foolishly thought all D locks were of a similar standard. A greater awareness of the importance of a good lock would be a step forward.

The cycle theft survey results have been discussed on BBC Radio London, Cycling Weekly, RoadCC and BikeBiz.