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Lock it or lose it Gardai warn public to lock bicycles as average of 400 stolen every week

Since January 2020 up to April 23, 2021 a total of 6,845 bicycles have been stolen across the country

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An average 400 bicycles are stolen in Ireland every single week, shocking new statistics have revealed. 

According to figures released by gardaí, there have been nearly 7,000 reported bike thefts in the last 16 months.

The figures were released as gardai issued a reminder to the public to take extra precautions when keeping their bicycles safe by locking them in the most secure way possible.

Since January 2020 up to April 23, 2021 a total of 6,845 bicycles have been stolen across the country.

Gardai recovered 2,139 bicycles but many cannot be returned to their owners as their serial numbers are not recorded.

Of the bicycles stolen since January 2020 only one in every five bike owners were able to provide their bicycle frame / serial number when reporting the theft.

“This causes problems reuniting bicycles with their owners,” gardai said.

Crime Prevention officers say that while an anecdotal increase in the number of people cycling since the start of the pandemic is to be welcomed and more expensive bikes purchased, it makes sense to invest in better quality locks.

Sgt Michael Walsh of the Galway Garda Division said: "We are appealing to all bicycle owners to ensure they lock their bikes as securely as possible when they are not in use.

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“Schemes like cycle to work offer great opportunities to those taking up cycling but it does mean people are investing in more expensive bikes.

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“Therefore, it makes sense to invest in quality locks to prevent bike theft. A good quality lock would involve spending 10 per cent to 20 per cent of the value of the bike on two locks. On average this would amount to €140/€150.

"When locking your bike ensure you secure it tightly to an immovable object and keep the lock off of the ground."

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This advice also extends to securing your bike at your home. If your bike is stored in a shed or garage ensure it is locked to either an immovable object or another heavy item, such as a lawnmower.

Sgt Walsh added: "Take a photo of your bike. Note the serial number, which is located on the underside of your bike close to the pedals. Email the photo and serial number to yourself or store it on the cloud, so you will always have a record of it.

"If your bike is stolen, report the theft to Gardaí as soon as you can, and ensure you have your serial number to hand if you have it. If you have had your bicycle stolen, you can now go onto the Garda website www.garda.ie or our Garda divisional Facebook pages to view bicycles that are currently in our property stores”.

In addition An Garda Síochána wishes to remind the public that cyclists are regarded as vulnerable road users and motorists need to exercise care when encountering cyclists, alone or in groups.

"Motorists are advised to give cyclists the space to cycle safely, particularly when overtaking them. Cyclists can be thrown off course by sudden gusts of wind or when having to avoid uneven road surfaces. It is equally important to check your mirrors regularly as a cyclist or other road user could be in your blind spot. Before opening the door of your ensure you check for passing cyclists. Drivers should also park legally and not disrupt bicycle lanes.

"We all have a responsibility, whether as motorists, cyclists, or pedestrians to share the road in a safe and responsible manner,” Sgt Walsh said.

The gardai has issued the following Crime Prevention advice to help owners protect their bikes from theft:

• Spend 10% to 20% of the value of your bike on two locks.

• Lock your bike tightly to an immovable object.

• Keep the lock off the ground.

• When storing your bike in a shed or garage ensure it is locked to an immovable object

• Take a photo of your bike, note the serial number and email it to yourself

• Lock your bike indoors or in well-lit areas if possible.

An Garda Síochána has a number of recovered bicycles at Garda Stations around the country which have not yet been claimed.

Photos of bicycles which have been recovered but not yet returned to their owners are available by Division on www.garda.ie and on An Garda Síochána’s Divisional Facebook Pages along with details for owners to claim their bike.

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