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Bike Theft Statistics in the UK (2023)

Bike Theft Statistics in the UK (2023)

Last Updated on February 13, 2023 0 Comments

There are a lot of bike crime statistics for the UK, many of which are surprising and most of which are pretty depressing. And we’re going to get into them all in this article, as well as some original data from our own research.

But before we start, there’s one very important point that we need to bear in mind when looking at the numbers:

Bike crime statistics depend on a crime actually being reported to the police. If a bike theft isn’t reported to the police, it won’t appear in any of the data sets you’ll see in the newspapers or websites.

And according to my own survey of over 4000 bike crime victims, 56% of them did not report the crime to the police.

Other surveys have found higher numbers: 71% of UK bike theft victims didn’t report the crime to the police, according to stolen-bike.co.uk.

This means that the problem is most likely twice as bad as it appears from the numbers below!

But with that is mind, let's get into the X most up to date and surprising UK bike theft statistics I could find in 2023:

How many bikes were stolen in the UK in 2022?

74,421 bike thefts were reported to England and Wales police between July 2021 and June 2022.

That means that a bike was stolen every 7 minutes in England & Wales in 2022. And don’t forget, this is reported cases: the actual number of bike thefts would have been at least double that.

The UK cities with the highest bike thefts include London, and the university towns of Cambridge, York and Oxford.

When it comes to the UK police finding the culprits, the numbers are even more depressing…

How many of those bike crimes were solved in the UK in 2022?

Of those 74,421 reported bike thefts:

  • 90% of the police cases were closed without a suspect being identified
  • Just 1.7% resulted in someone being charged

No wonder so few bike crime victims bother to report the theft to the police: the chances of the police arresting anyone are so incredibly low.

And the chances of a bike crime victim getting their bike back are also pretty low, according to the statistics. In my survey of over 4000 bike crime victims, just 20% were reunited with their stolen bike.

This is of course influences the public’s trust in the police and their belief that the police do anything when a bike theft is reported.

A YouGov survey published towards the end of 2022 found that 77% of UK respondents don’t expect the police to properly investigate bicycle theft. This is the highest level of all the 15 crimes they were asked about.

Statistics on how bike crime affects people in the UK

We shouldn’t forget that bike crime isn’t just about the loss of personal property. It can also affect the mental well-being of the victims.

The most recent data from the Crime Survey for England and Wales on victims of bike crime indicate that 81% were emotionally affected by the theft, 31% feeling “very much” or “quite a lot” affected.

Not surprisingly (considering these numbers) and most depressingly, this causes many victims to rethink their attitude to cycling.

Data from the survey from stolen-bikes.co.uk found that 66% of bike theft victims cycled less and 25% gave up cycling altogether. Which are similar to numbers found in bike theft statistics for the US.

Are there any positive UK bike crime statistics?!

While all these statistics are indeed very depressing, it’s worth bearing a couple of other pieces of data in mind:

  1. 98% of bicycle owners in the UK were not the victim of bike crime in 2022
  2. Bike crime fell by 11.5% in the UK in 2021

Although the drop in bike crime in 2021 is very much a return to normal after a COVID pandemic bike crime spike, there has been a general downward trend in reported bike theft over the last 15 years.

Reasons to be cheerful? Not if you are one of the victims.


How Common is Bike Theft in the UK?

Bike theft is very common in the UK. Between July 2021 and June 2022, 74,421 bike thefts were reported to the police in England and Wales. That’s equivalent to one bike being stolen every 7 minutes.

What is the Most Stolen Bike in the UK? 

According to data from Bike Register, the most commonly stolen brand of bike in the UK is Specialized (27.6%), and the most common stolen model of bike is the "Specialized Sirrus" (14.3%).

About the author 

Carl Ellis

I've had bikes stolen in London, New York and Barcelona. Yep, I was a serial, international, bike theft victim. In 2015 I decided to stop the rot. And not a single bike's been stolen since! Brakes, yes. Bells, yes. But they're another story. Everything I learn, I document on this website. More about my story. Contact me. LinkedIn.

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