Almost 100,000 bikes were reported stolen last year, new figures show, amounting to a quarter of a million since 2015.
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”.
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