CYCLING IS THE PERFECT TRANSPORTATION FOR STUDENTS BUT University bike theft continues to be a problem. DO YOUR HOMEWORK AND keep your bike safe.
If you are heading off to college this term, there are many benefits to commuting to lectures by bike. Not only is cycling a great way to keep fit but it is much cheaper and often more reliable than public transport options.
However, one of the downsides is the growing number of students becoming victims of bike theft.
In 2017 we published a study illustrating the extent of University bike crime in the UK. We looked at each university postcode and used data sourced from Police.uk to see which institutions had the biggest problem with bikes being stolen between May 2016 and May 2017. The results can be seen in the table at the bottom of this page.
In the 2016-17 academic year, Oxford and Cambridge both topped the list with each having over 600 bikes stolen in and around campus, while a number of London’s top universities made it into the top 20 list with UCL having 224 stolen in their WC1E 6BT postcode.
Two years later, sadly it seems the picture hasn’t improved. University towns are still amongst the highest hot spots in the country with college cities such as Oxford, Cambridge and Bristol amongst the highest targeted (Yellow Jersey Map). And it seems the story is no different on the other side of the Atlantic, with AssetTag claiming that one in thirteen bikes are stolen from University Campuses.
But don’t let such gloomy news dissuade you from taking the most environmentally friendly and reliable transportation to lectures. Lock it down with our guide to keeping your two wheels safe this academic year.
Lock it Down
- Do Your Homework – Choose a good lock. With University Campuses being specifically targeted, you should go for a Medium to High Security lock depending on how long you lock your bike for.
- Use it or Lose It – Most bikes reported stolen are not locked at all. This is often because people couldn’t be bothered to take a lock with them. Choose something that is easy to carry such as our wearable Chain Locks or super strong yet lightweight DX.
- Choose The Perfect Fit – Buy a lock that fits the locking options on your particular campus or in your collegiate city. For example, if bike racks are hard to come by and you are more likely to be locking to different types of posts and fencing, a chain lock with a longer locking circumference will give you more options.
- Lighten Up – Lock your bike in the most visible place possible and not in the dark alley down the back of the lecture hall. If possible, lock your bike in dedicated bike park areas directly outside University Buildings where there is a lot of foot traffic, and more importantly the watchful eyes of other students
- Tie Down Your Stuff – Easily removable wheels, saddles and accessories are all easy prey for bike thieves. The best advice is to take anything removable with you but we recognise that it’s not always practical to walk in to the lecture hall with all of your bike accessories. Lock them down with a super lightweight security tie such as Z LOK.
- Customise It – Make your bike as easily identifiable as possible and tag and register it. Companies such as Bike Register in the UK and Bike Guard in the US provide a useful service.
- Insure It – There are so many options for bike insurance these days- why take the risk? Check out LAKA. Their unique approach to insurance creates a community whereby you only pay if other community members have their bike stolen, a kind of big society approach to looking after each other and your two wheels. And we all need some of that.