As in any other part of the country, North Yorkshire and the City of York suffer from bicycle theft - both from street locations and from houses and out-buildings.
As a force we work hard with agencies and the public to reduce bicycle crime and to promote security. This includes talking to schools, workforces and individuals to ensure cycle users understand the principals of prevention and how to report a theft if one occurs.
From analysing details of reported incidents, the main area of concern is how users either leave cycles unlocked or use inadequate locks. The cycles are also left in inappropriate areas such as unlit streets, out of sight, around the corners of buildings or simply dumped on a pavement. These are all places criminals look for and know about.
The Home Office has issued the following advice to help protect your bicycle:
Secure cycle parking
There are designated areas within the towns and cities of North Yorkshire which offer secure parking for cycles. These can be found at train stations, multi-storey car parks and in main shopping areas.
A number of local authorities publish details of cycle lockers and other forms of secure parking, including Harrogate Borough Council.
There are many different products on the market and price is not necessarily a reliable indicator of quality. The most important factor is how long the product can resist attack.
To guard against the opportunist thief you need a product that has resisted attack for one minute. To guard against the determined thief you need a product that has resisted attack for three minutes. To guard against the dedicated thief you need a product that has resisted attack for five minutes.
Hardened steel D-shaped locks are recommended as the minimum standard. It is worth spending proportionately more on a lock for a more expensive bike.
The Cycle Passport
One of the new prevention tools in use is a scheme called the Cycle Passport. The passport is designed for the cycle owner to record all aspects of the bike and also allows a photo to be attached. This is then stored in a safe place and should only be used in case the cycle is stolen. It will help the officer to gain a full description and help identify the cycle if recovered. The information can also be passed on to local cycle stores in case the offender tries to sell on the bike.
Know your bike
Just in case the worst does happen, make sure you are able to describe your bike properly to police.
Here are out top ten tips on keeping safe whilst cycling.