Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 13°C

Search

Suffolk/Essex: Anger as just 7% of stolen bikes are returned to owners

PUBLISHED: 12:00 25 February 2013

Less than one in 10 of stolen bikes are returned to their owners.

Less than one in 10 of stolen bikes are returned to their owners.

Archant

THOUSANDS of bikes are being stolen across the region – and less than one in 10 are being returned to their owners, causing anger among cyclists.

Figures have revealed thieves took 2,995 bikes in seven major towns across Suffolk from 2010-2012, with police only managing to retrieve 206 – just 7% – leaving bike owners thousands of pounds out of pocket and frustrated.

Keith Halton, of the Suffolk Cyclists’ Touring Club, said the thefts cause much more than just a financial setback.

He said: “For anybody whose bike is stolen, it is very disappointing and frustrating.

“Not only have you probably lost quite a lot of money, but it causes a huge amount of inconvenience.

“People use bikes as part of their lives; they need it to get to work and back and it’s a main form of exercise for a lot of people.”

The figures, revealed under Freedom of Information laws, showed nearly two bikes a day were stolen on average in Ipswich in 2011 – with just 4% recovered.

Ipswich also had the lowest return rate in the study over the whole period. Just 90 out of 1,690 bikes were found – a 5% return record.

Only 14 out of 199 bikes seized in Bury St Edmunds were recovered from 2010-2012, while Felixstowe boasted the best return rate with 17% of stolen bikes reunited with their owner.

In north-east Essex, just three out of 153 (2%) bikes were recovered in Colchester in 2011, while two out of 66 Braintree bikes were found and only 11 out of 142 bikes in Clacton were rediscovered in 2012.

Elsewhere, no bikes were returned in Hadleigh or Woodbridge last year, 49 out of 687 bikes were retrieved in Lowestoft in the three-year period, and only 7% of bikes were returned to their owners in Newmarket over the period.

Police officer Kevin Rolt, who is also chairman of the Newmarket Cycling and Triathlon Club, said cyclists must remain vigilant.

He said: “It is a serious matter. There have only been around five thefts at the club in the last five years but they are expensive bikes and cost thousands of pounds.

“One member left his shed door open in his garden for just 20 minutes while he went to the kitchen and someone had taken his bike.

“When people are on holiday in caravan or holiday parks, they become vulnerable to thieves because they are in a relaxed mood as well.

“Every time you buy a bike, you should record the serial number. It is incredible how many people report crimes of bikes and do not have that, which makes it a lot more difficult to retrieve the bike.”

A Suffolk police spokesman said: “We take the issue of bike thefts very seriously and will always do our best to recover items and reunite them with their rightful owners.”

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Emergency services are at the scene of a serious collision on the A11 at Barton Mills.

It’s the start of the school summer holidays, six weeks that are a time of both joy and pain for parents across the nation, Sheena Grant writes.

A petition has been launched to continue the landfill search for missing Corrie McKeague following the news that it has been called off.

A baby born with a rare disease that causes such severe muscle weakness that even breathing, eating and swallowing become difficult for her has received support from a Suffolk charity.

Families in Ipswich needn’t have ventured far to hit the beach as a sandy retreat began its summer-long stint in Christchurch Park.

Thousands of people have headed to Jimmy’s Farm in Wherstead today for the first day of one of the biggest events on its calendar: Jimmy’s Festival.

A man accused of brandishing a fake gun in Ipswich has been detained to appear at crown court next month.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24