Being a victim of burglary is awful for anyone to suffer, and when one of your most valued possessions is taken, it's absolutely crushing. Sadly new data tells us that bicycles are number one in Britain's "Most Stolen" ranks.
Many of us work hard, and play hard on our bikes. Investing a lot of time, energy and not to mention money on our passion for two wheels. With the exciting growth of cycling in the media, and the bike industry exploding, it has come with a big target for people to take advantage of.
Even professional riders aren't safe, when in 2015, British downhill athlete and World Champion, Manon Carpenter had her whole fleet of bikes stolen from her home in Caerphilly. Fortunately with the help of social media, these bikes became impossible for the thieves to shift, so they were found and returned to Manon a few weeks later. However, not everyone is so lucky.
Yorkshire based security company, CCTV.co.uk, specialise in household surveillance equipment and have issued a report claiming that garden sheds are Britain's weakest links. Both CCTV.co.uk and Direct Line Insurance issued a list of the Top Ten stolen items in the UK:
- Mobile phones
- Power tools
- Laptop computers
- Tablet computers
- Golfing equipment
- Gardening tools
- Audio equipment
Though it's not nice for those who have suffered a theft to hear, CCTV.co.uk tell us most of these thefts are preventable. Spokesperson Jonathan Ratcliffe says: "There's a reason why so many bicycles, tools and golf equipment go missing, and it's all down to lack of security. You might secure your home with multi-point locks, but the average shed is still only protected by a cheap padlock which is easily broken. And it's the same with garage doors which don't survive for long in the face of a determined crook with a crowbar."
His advice is not to "protect your home like a fortress" but to "invest a little thought into a modest outlay". Ratcliffee's top suggestions to avoiding theft are as follows:
- Take a look round your property with a thief's eye, and ask yourself if someone would be able to gain access given sufficient time. Look out for 'blind spots' where a burglar can work undisturbed.
- Ask a police crime prevention officer to visit. They'll recognise weak points, and offer advice on how to beef up your security.
- Speak to your home insurance company, and find out the minimum standards required for door, window and outbuilding security. Fall short of these, and you might not succeed in an insurance claim.
- Keep your valuables out of sight!
Any determined thief can break through a padlock, chain or door lock so it's important to protect your valuable possessions with the appropriate security, and have sufficient insurance in place.
Wherever you keep your bikes, even if you keep them in the house, be sure to have adequate locks, alarms and even cameras in place to make sure they are protected.
Many of us have more than one bike, and if you're a family of bikers than that can tot up to quite a considerable amount of money. So please keep your bikes safe, and raise awareness on social media for those who have suffered at the hands of bike thefts.
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