Lancashire Constabulary recorded the 14th lowest crime rate out of 43 police forces from July 2019 to June 2020. However there was a surge in bike thefts in May (103) and June (119) after lockdown eased which saw 71 thefts in March and 74 in April.
Nationally, there were approximately 19,000 fewer incidents of bicycle theft were reported to the police in the past 12 months compared to the year before, according to UK CrimeStats, using data gathered by the Economic Policy Centre.
The figures show that from July 2018 to June 2019 there were more than 90,000 reported incidents, but from July 2019 to June 2020 this had dropped to 71,000 bicycle thefts – a 21% fall.
Despite a rise to 6,870 reported thefts in June, up from 5,700 in May, the long-term trend has been falling. The monthly average was 5,915 for July 2019 to June 2020, down from 7,513 for the preceding 12 months.
While the lockdown saw the lowest figure (4,046 in April) for the past two years, December had almost exactly the same figure (4,047).
The high point for bicycle theft in the past two years was in July 2018 with 9,910 thefts.
The research presented by UK CrimeStats – a leading crime data research and analysis platform – covers England, Wales and Northern Ireland and is based on reported bicycle thefts.
Responding to the new data, Greg Wilson, founder of Quotezone.co.uk – which launched one of the UK’s first price comparison services for bicycle insurance – says: “It’s really positive to see such a significant drop in the number of bike thefts across the country, especially when bike sales have spiked due to the pandemic and the subsequent push for people to get fit and lose weight – at a social distance.
“Hopefully this latest trend marks a continued decline in petty crimes like theft and burglaries, with lockdown teaching us a renewed sense of community spirit and fuelling the revival of local support networks such as neighbourhood watch.
“Although the total number of bicycle thefts is falling, the risk of theft hasn’t disappeared as shown by the figures for Lancashire, which is why we’d encourage people, especially if they have made a significant investment in new bicycle equipment in recent months, to double check that their home insurance covers their bike. If their bicycle isn’t covered, or if the single item limit on their home insurance policy means the coverage isn’t enough to meet their needs, we’d advise them to look into a standalone bicycle insurance policy for their new wheels.”