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Bicycle Theft Statistics UK

Data from the Crime Survey indicates that hundreds of thousands of bicycles are stolen each year in the UK, with the number hard to quantify exactly. Bikes are most likely to be stolen from home, during the week in the afternoon (noon to 6 pm) or during the night (midnight to 6 am). We analysed data from the Office of National Statistics to learn more about when your bike is most at risk of theft. Read on to find out more, or for additional statistics on bicycle popularity and safety please see our Bicycle Statistics article.

Where Bicycles Thefts Occur

According to NimbleFins analysis of data from the Office for National Statistics, the vast majority (63%) of bicycles are stolen from near the home, specifically outside areas on the premises, garages or car parks around but not connected to the home. For the period ending March 2023, 39% of pedal cycle thefts occurred from these "semi-private" home areas. Another 24% of bicycles were nabbed from "private" areas at home; a further 10% were taken from the grounds of a public place, including shops, supermarkets, shopping centres, schools, colleges, universities, pubs, bars, working mens clubs, places of entertainment, nightclubs, sports centres and football grounds.

Locations of Bicycle Thefts
Street at work3%
Street at home3%
Other location4%
Other car park5%
Work car park6%
Other street7%
Grounds of a public place10%
Home (private)24%
Home (semi-private)39%
chart showing locations where bikes are most stolen

When Bicycles Are Stolen

If you think that most bikes are stolen during the night—you might be surprised. While 24% of bicycle thefts in 2023 occurred during the night, more (27%) were stolen during the afternoon between noon and 6 pm. Late evening is the time of day when your bike is least likely to be snatched (6%).

Time of day of bicycle thefts UK
Morning/afternoon (unsure which)10%
Early Evening14%
Late Evening6%
Evening/night (unsure which)10%
chart showing times of day when bikes most stolen

Cost of Stolen Bicycles

For 2023, data from the ONS showed that the median value of a stolen bicycle was £300, but the mean value was £598.

The mean is higher because of a small number of offences with high costs, which drags the "average" or mean value up above the "middle" or median value. This is because 22% of stolen bicycles were valued at £500 - £999 and 14% of stolen bicycles were valued at over £1,000.

Value of stolen bicycles
No cost0%
£1 to £192%
£20 to £491%
£50 to £9912%
£100 to £19913%
£200 to £49936%
£500 to £99922%
£1,000 or more14%
Median value£300
Mean value£698
chart showing value of stolen bicycles

Are Bicycles Usually Locked When They're Stolen?

The majority of bicycles which are stolen were left locked: 51%, in fact. In that case, either the lock would have been broken, the cable/chain cut or the front wheel removed and left in the lock (for example, if the cable/chain only went through the front tire). Where a stolen bike was left unlocked, most of the time the owner thought the bike was in a locked building or safe area, so didn't need to be locked. Remarkably, 17% do not even own a bike lock.

Try to keep your bicycle safe by taking a few precautions:

  • Always lock your pedal cycle (even if it's stored in a locked garage or outbuilding)
  • Locking not just through the wheel but also through part of the frame
  • Using cable that cannot be cut
  • Lock your bicycle to a secure object that cannot be moved or lifted

The actual number of stolen pedal cycles in the UK is impossible to know, as a significant proportion of stolen bicycles are never reported to the police. While you might feel like bicycle theft is rampant in the UK, there's one place that likely experiences higher rates of bicycle theft: Amsterdam, where around 30,000 bikes were stolen last year and where there are apparently more bicycles than people!

If you're worried about your bike being stolen, you may decide you need specialist bicycle insurance.