Cyclists in East London need to be the most vigilant, as the area had the highest number of bikes stolen in 2017.
Almost 100,000 bikes were reported stolen last year, new figures show, amounting to a quarter of a million since 2015 - writes mirror.co.uk
The figures by Direct Line insurance show thefts have risen by 17% over the past 12 months, with more than £22million having been claimed on insurance over the past three years.
The most common types of bikes targeted by thieves are mountain bikes, making up nearly half of all thefts over this period.
Hybrid bicycles are the next most popular for criminals, accounting for just under a third of thefts, followed by road bikes.
Bike theft in London is increasing faster than anywhere else in the UK, growing 21% in the past three years, with over 58,000 bikes stolen.
London postcodes also account for four of the top ten bike theft hotspots, with East London nabbing the top spot with over 9,000 cycles stolen in the last three years.
Darran Hull, at Direct Line, said: "Given London and the surrounding area account for 44% of all cycling miles across Britain, it is no surprise opportunistic thieves target these areas.
"Bike theft isn’t just distressing but incredibly disruptive, often leaving commuters without a vital mode of transport and cyclists unable to exercise or take part in leisure activities.
"As the popularity of cycling continues to increase, bike theft is also on the up, which is why it’s more important than ever to ensure your bike is covered on your home insurance policy. This is often an optional added extra, so make sure you double check it is included so that you can at least claim for a replacement in the unfortunate event your bike is stolen".
Registration – There are bike schemes available, such as BikeRegister which are free to sign up for and provide security marking kits and warning signs to deter thieves.
Parking – Keep your bike parked in a well lit public area where it’s busy throughout the day.
Lock it up – Ensure that you always keep your bike locked when unattended. D-locks are the most secure and it will pay in the long run to invest in a high-quality lock.
Home – Even when your bike is kept in your garage or shed, be sure to lock it up and consider investing in a ground lock or secure wall mount so you know it is safe when out of sight.
Insurance – Check with your insurance provider that your bike is covered. Some insurers offer an add-on to their usual cover which is always worth investing in. If you have a high-value bike it is also worth reading the terms and conditions to be sure your bike value is covered.
Photograph – When purchasing a new bike, it is always recommended to take photographs of the bike and capturing frame numbers and any unique features - this will help you or the police identify it if it's ever stolen.
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