Motorbike and moped theft is on the rise. Follow our tips to make sure you are doing all you can to protect your vehicle.
With rising crime rates, motorbike security should be top of the list for any rider. Bikes are stolen by joyriders, stolen to order, or stolen to be broken down into parts, and can often be out of the country before you know they're gone. But despite this, less than half of all bikes are protected by bike locks or any other security devices.
- Think about where you park - look for lots of people passing, good lighting and CCTV.
- A lock may not be enough - try to anchor your bike as they are often 'lifted' onto another vehicle and stolen.
- Use a number of locks on your motorbike focusing on disc locks and chain locks. The longer it takes a thief to break a lock, the more of a deterrent it forms. Locks should be fitted tight to the bike and through difficult to remove parts.
- Use tamper-proof screws to prevent number plates from being stolen and used on stolen vehicles to commit crimes. They can be purchased on the internet or from local dealers.
- Audible alarms should be used where possible as this will generate more attention than the thief wants.
- Avoid advertising the vehicle - use a motorbike cover.
- Have the motorbike marked with its vehicle identification number (VIN), for instance, etch glass surfaces such as lights.
- Property mark bike parts with your postcode or registration number, using an ultraviolet marker pen or property marking kit. Keep a record of the parts you've marked.
- Some insurance companies will offer discounts from premiums if you invest in certain security measures, so ask before you purchase.
If you ride an off-road bike, ask the DVLA to register its details on their own and police computers - it's free.
The Metropolitan Police and the City of London Police, who face the highest incidents of motorbike-related crime, are appealing to all motorcycle users to take all reasonable measures to protect their property and help by spreading the word.
The Met has launched a campaign to raise awareness with scooter riders of what they can do to reduce the risk of their scooter being stolen.
It focuses primarily on scooter riders, who are less likely to use strong security products compared with motorcyclists who are biking enthusiasts.
Scooter theft has risen 50% over the last two years in London and is linked to an increase in criminals using them to commit other crimes such as phone snatches.
Over 14,000 motorcycle, moped and scooters were stolen in London alone in the last year.
It takes a matter of seconds for a thief to steal a moped, scooter or motorcycle, especially if they are left either unsecured or with inadequate security.
The 'Lock, Chain, Cover' campaign asks riders to layer up their security to reduce their vulnerability to thieves, using the strapline: 'Lock, chain and cover your scooter to make it less visible to thieves. Adding extra security makes it harder for them to steal'.
Use a disc lock to help secure the front brake disc, or a grip lock to secure the brake and throttle controls. You could also use a D lock on the front wheel to stop it being wheeled away.
Thieves often steal a bike by breaking the steering lock and wheeling it away.
Use a chain lock through the back wheel (the front wheel can be removed). Secure your bike, with the lock taut to an immovable object such as a ground anchor or street furniture.
This will stop thieves from cutting a lock trailing on the ground using an angle grinder. If this isn't possible, thread the chain through your bike frame and back wheel.
Thieves often 'shop' for particular bike models. Using a cover instantly makes it less attractive to them. A cover also provides another time consuming obstacle for the thief.
Unfortunately security measures can't guarantee your bike won't be stolen but, by using multiple security measures, you can make it harder and less attractive for thieves.
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