Thousands of bicycles stolen in Suffolk in past three years
More than 4,500 bicycles have been stolen in Suffolk over the past three years, new figures have revealed.
Statistics provided by Suffolk police showed a total of 4,637 bikes were stolen in the county from 2016 to 2018, with charges brought in just 1.1% of investigations.
During the past 12 months, 1,395 bicycles were stolen across Suffolk, which represented a 20% fall from 2017 when 1,753 bikes were taken.
In 2016, 1,489 bicycles were stolen in the county.
Of those 4,637 bikes stolen in the past three years, only 283 have been recovered, according to the data provided through a Freedom of Information (FoI) request.
Recent statistics from British Transport Police also revealed a increase in bicycle thefts/damage at railway stations.
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During 2017-18 at eastern region rail stations, 1,929 bicycles were stolen or damaged.
This was compared with 2,147 offences in 2018-19 - a jump of 11%.
Last month, Ipswich mum Keli Todd voiced her displeasure after her teenage son Joshua Lawrence had his bike stolen from the town's Buttermarket shopping centre.
The bike, a black Trek Marlin 5 bike, which was Joshua's birthday present, was stolen from the shopping centre's car park on Tuesday, July 16. It had been locked to a cycle rack.
Miss Todd said: "Josh works so hard and now instead of buying new trainers or clothes out of his first wage, he has to buy a new bike and it's not fair."
A spokesman for Suffolk police stressed the force is always on the lookout for bike thieves but urged owners to be security conscious.
MORE: Mum: 'Something needs to be done' about town centre bike thefts
Suffolk police issued the following advice:
- Invest in a good quality lock for the bicycle to no less than CEN security grade 3-4, D locks are the most effective and a worthwhile investment.
- Use a lock to secure the bike-stand, wheel rim and frame together making it more difficult for a thief to steal it.
- Never leave bikes unlocked in a public place.
- Find a suitable location to leave and secure your bike, dark alleys, drain-pipes and posts should not be used.
- Get the bike security marked by the police's local Safer Neighbourhood Team making it readily identifiable should it be recovered.
- Consider registering a bicycle using a third party service to further protect it such as Bike Register or Immobilise.
- Bikes kept in garages and sheds in particular should be properly secured, alternatively if there is room, inside the home is the most secure location to store a bike.