Fears that bicycle theft from apartment buildings “is increasing rapidly”
By Brendan Rees
Concerns are growing that bicycle thefts from apartment buildings and city parking lots are “rising rapidly”, despite the growing number of people working from home.
New research undertaken by Bicycle Network has found the city of Melbourne to be at the top of the list for reported bicycle thefts in 2020 with 1,298 reports.
Yarra was the second most important local government area for bicycle theft, with 558 cases reported last year, followed by Port Phillip (517).
However, Melbourne ranked second behind Brunswick with the most bikes stolen per 100,000 people in 2020 – with St Kilda pushing Carlton to third place with the most thefts.
Alarmingly, statewide bicycle thefts from flats, units and apartments have increased at a rate of 40.7% every year – despite Melbourne’s 112-day lockdown last year.
Streets and trails also remain a hot spot for theft across the state with more than 1,000 bikes reported stolen last year, followed by front yards (856) and parking lots (791).
But it is the thefts in apartment buildings and parking lots that concerned Bicycle Network which, according to him, “are increasing rapidly”.
Overall, the report showed that bicycle thefts had jumped 81.2% in the past 10 years across the state – an average of 20 bikes stolen each day compared to 11 in 2011.
However, Bicycle Network said the closures had an impact on reported thefts from train stations, shopping complexes and schools which all fell in 2020.
According to the report, only 9% of reported bicycle thefts were solved by police. But with the increase in reports of thefts, the police were making more arrests.
Bicycle Network chief executive Craig Richards said the lack of secure bicycle parking spaces made it easier for opportunistic thieves to jump in.
âThefts happen when people cannot lock their bikes in a safe or secure place. If someone with sticky fingers sees an easy score, they’ll take it, âsaid Richards.
âSchools, public transport stations, workplaces and shopping centers should all have dedicated changing rooms for bicycles, while bicycle hoops on the street should be placed in places that are highly visible and highly frequented by cyclists. pedestrians. “
âThe ability for bikes to be quickly dismantled and sold to a large second-hand market makes it difficult to recover stolen bikes and catch thieves. “
Melbourne Mayor Sally Capp said the best protection against bicycle theft is a good quality lock and the use of one of the thousands of bicycle hoops across the city.
âWe continue to provide new cycling facilities throughout the Municipality as part of a range of Melbourne City infrastructure developments,â she said.
“We encourage anyone whose bicycle has been stolen to contact Victoria Police immediately.”
Bicycle Network has provided the following tips for keeping your bike safe:
- Using a hardened D-lock that cannot be cut by bolt cutters
- Always lock your bike, whether you are outside or at home.
- Avoid leaving your bike parked on the street overnight or for long periods of time.
- If you are using a trip recording app such as Strava, you should be careful not to highlight your home location.
- If your bike is stolen, you must report it to the police immediately.
- Take pictures of your bike and write down the details of its make, model, year, color and serial number (in case of theft). â¢