Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, in conjunction with An Garda Síochána, has launched a campaign to raise awareness of bike theft within the cycling community and encourages cyclists to purchase a good bike lock when buying a bike.
With increasing numbers of cyclists on roads in the County during the Covid-19 pandemic, especially along the Coastal Mobility Route, there also has an increase in the number of bike thefts in the County. This crime is usually motivated by opportunity, with those responsible taking advantage of poor or non-existent security measures in place when leaving bikes unattended or poorly locked.
An Cathaoirleach, Cllr Lettie McCarthy welcomed the campaign and stated, “we know that having a bike stolen can be devastating for cyclists, many who may have spent hundreds, if not thousands of euros on it. With more people cycling into the County, it presents more opportunities for thieves, as they look to target people who have only recently started cycling during the pandemic and may not know the best ways to secure their bike”.
Chair of the Council Forum, Cllr Carrie Smyth said, “Cycling has become a popular form of transport around the County with bike sales at an all-time high. Unfortunately, there has been several instances of bikes being stolen ranging from small children’s bikes to expensive sports bikes. Purchasing two good locks when buying a bike and parking at a secure cycle stand can play a part in reducing bike theft”.
As part of the campaign, An Garda Síochána is appealing to cyclists to take extra precautions in keeping their bicycles safe by locking them in the most secure way possible and aiming to spend 10% to 20% of the value of your bike on two locks. Garda records show that over 5200 bikes were stolen nationally in 2020. The average cost of a bike stolen is around €500. The most common time for a bike to be stolen is during the hours of 8am and 5pm, with Friday being statistically the most common day for bikes to be stolen.
Chief Superintendent Matthew Nyland (DMR East Division) said, “despite the significant sums of money people spend on a bike, the amount spent on security pales in comparison. Stealing a bike is often seen as an attractive option for those involved in acquisitive crime, as to do so is normally a quick process, with modest security measures in place, easy to overcome. Unfortunately, bike thieves appear to be becoming more brazen, no longer worried about using angle grinders in busy locations during daytime hours”.
Local Garda teams continue to gather intelligence on bike thefts taking place in their communities and carry out appropriate enforcement action when required. The public are asked to come forward with any information relating to the theft of bikes within their communities. An Garda Síochána website contains useful information on Bike Theft Prevention Advice.