Last year 1363 bikes were reported stolen in Edinburgh. Evening News story. This year’s figure is expected, by the Police, to reach 1400. It is suspected that many are taken by organised gangs who particularly target areas such as Marchmont with high levels of bicycle ownership. (What to do if it happens to you).
Thieves prefer new looking bikes which they hope they will be able to resell (perhaps in Glasgow) for a ‘reasonable’ amount.
The best advice is to use a good quality lock and lock the bike to something solid. This is increasingly difficult in tenement areas where each stair may have several bikes and neighbours may (understandably) not want bikes locked to banisters.
Unfortunately even these are no guarantee that your bike is ‘safe’ most are made of cast iron – easily broken with a hammer or even a kick.
In addition to the theft of complete bikes it is common for saddles and wheels to be stolen, usually because they are only held on with ‘quick-release’ mechanisms.
In London stickers (above) are appearing on bike racks advising people to use a cable (quite cheap) in addition to their locks. City of Edinburgh Council and the University of Edinburgh are currently considering printing similar stickers.