PC Lee Honey, a cycle theft investigator with the Metropolitan Police Roads and Transport Policing Command, advises how to select a lock and where to leave your bike to avoid becoming a target of thieves…
Choosing your lock and location
Standards for bike locks vary. Sold Secure locks are sold as Gold, Silver and Bronze and are there to simplify things, with Gold offering the highest level of security against would-be thieves, while other manufacturers use a 1 to 10 system.
No lock is totally impenetrable, but by taking other measures you can deter thieves who need time to pick your lock. Always lock it in a busy and well-lit public place with good CCTV coverage. Always lock to a purpose-built bike stand too.
Get two good quality locks — preferably a good D lock and a heavy chain lock, and ideally lock the frame and wheel to the stand at either end. Look for a sturdy lock that’s got good reviews and speak to other cyclists on forums about their lock experiences.
App-based locks, such as Linka or Lock8, also enable remote locking and alert you via your mobile phone if your bike is being tampered with.
Choose a secure fixing
If your lock isn’t secured to a safe fixing, the quality of the lock can be irrelevant. Bikes can get lifted over signposts easily — I’ve seen thieves remove street signs to do just this — so avoid those.
Also check any bike stands or railings that have tape around them. This conceals cuts made in the metal that thieves use to quickly remove bikes.
Hide and remove as much as possible
Take anything removable with you, and if you only have one lock then remove the front wheel and lock through the two wheels, frame and the stand. Personalise your bike too. Make changes to it and make a note of everything, including your frame number.
Make sure you utilise the security perimeter if you’re using Strava so as to not pin point your home or work.
The Police also carry out free Cycle Security Marking engagements which can be found at bikeregister.com/events