Are bike thefts on the rise following the easing of lockdown?

The picture is still emerging, but we’re starting to see a very sharp rise in reported bicycle thefts in London.

Taking a look at only Met police data, 2549 bikes had been reported as stolen to the force in June 2020, compared to 1769 in May. In June 2019 it was 2003 bikes.

Bicycle theft reports to the MET since the ‘COVID-19 lockdown’ in March:

March 2020 – 1085
April 2020 – 1058
May 2020 – 1769
June 2020 – 2549
July 2020 – TBC

Comparing to the ‘normal times’ of 2019:

March 2019 – 1464
April 2019 – 1687
May 2019 – 1965
June 2019 – 2003
July 2019 – 2377

Met police bicycle theft chart July 2020

As seen on the chart above, during the strict 2020 lockdown months, reported thefts fell dramatically. But since lockdown has been eased, thefts have risen considerably, especially when compared to 2019 – a year-on-year increase of 27% for June.

It’s too early in the year to fully analyse what is happening but Stolen Ride will provide a review later in the year – after the ‘busy season’ for stolen bikes (‘usually’ peaks in July). It will certainly be interesting to see the figures for July and beyond, not only for the Met Police but also for City of London Police and the British Transport Police – adding them all together to create a full picture for London. Even with the ‘reported’ bike theft figures, there are many factors to consider, not least the cycling boom we are living in and how lifestyles have changed with more people choosing cycling as their mode of transport.

So how well are the police doing this year, compared to last?

Sanction detections are when offences have been resolved through a formal sanction, including being charged or receiving a caution.”

Sanction detections for 2020:

March 2020 – 13
April 2020 – 34
May 2020 – 22
June 2020 – 35
July 2020 – TBC

Sanction detections for 2019:

March 2019 – 9
April 2019 – 16
May 2019 – 23
June 2019 – 12
July 2019 – 16

For top tips about how to help protect your bike from theft, visit our resources section. We also have great discounts on cycle insurance (for peace of mind) and other cycling discounts from our industry partners.

**Data from the Met Crime Dashboard – sourced: 25/07/2020