Just 1.5% of bicycle thefts result in a charge

Just 1.5% of bicycle thefts across Merseyside resulted in someone being charged in the last 12 months.

Data revealed through a Freedom of Information request to Merseyside Police indicated how in 2022, 1,659 cases of bike theft were reported – around four a day. However, only 26 suspects were charged and five were given a community resolution or caution.

While the number of reported bike thefts has decreased by nearly 12% since 2018, the number of people charged or given a community resolution has dropped by more than half. The number of suspects identified has remained largely the same.

Across England and Wales between June 2021 and 2022, more than 74,000 cases of bike theft were reported but no suspect was identified in 66,769 cases. Only 1,239 resulted in a charge or summons making up 1.7% of cases.

According to crime survey data for England and Wales in 2022, bike thefts emotionally affected 81% of victims and data from a Stolen Bikes study found 66% cycled less afterwards and 25% gave up cycling altogether.

When asked how they are tackling bike theft crime, Merseyside Police Superintendent Martin Earl said, “To prevent crime from taking place, our Local Policing teams regularly hold crime prevention events to provide advice on how to adequately secure your bike. These include special events where people can take their bikes to be marked with a unique identifier.”

Police said this is done through bike register and can be done at events or organised with your local PCSO at a police station.

He added, “If a stop check is carried out with a suspect on a bike, officers can check to see if it is legitimately theirs through the Bike Register app that all Officers have access to. If it is found to be stolen, the suspect would be arrested, and a prosecution would be sought. With the stolen bike identified, Officers can locate the rightful owner and return the bike, again through the Bike Register app.

“Whatever the crime committed, we always encourage people to report it to us. In relation to bike thefts especially if there is spate of them in one area, this allows our local policing teams to be aware of the issue. Usually, a spate of crimes such as burglaries or thefts in an area, are committed by one offender. So, when the offender is brought before the courts, and they get a custodial sentence, we usually see a reduction in offences, as they would most likely be responsible for multiple thefts taking place.”

Crime prevention advice and how to protect your bike from theft can be found here

Image: Alejandro Lopez

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