Motorcycle theft is rising fast but a Metropolitan Police campaign now aims to apply the brakes.
In the past 12 months alone there were more than 15,000 scooter and motorcycle thefts in the capital and the rate is rising year on year.
Many bikes were stolen to order for use in in other crime, such as mobile phone and handbag snatches, to transport weapons or drugs, and more recently in drive-by acid attacks.
Police say bikers are their own worst enemies if they don’t take precautions to protect their rides when they park up.
The new campaign, launched by Met Commissioner Cressida Dick, argues: “The more visible the security, the less visible your scooter is to thieves: adding extra security makes it harder for them to steal.”
Police say scooter riders are less likely than motorcyclists to use strong security products, but they encourage all riders to “layer up” their security to reduce their vulnerability to thieves.
In many cases, owners have inadequate security or no security at all on their machines, making it easy for thieves to steal them and then use them to commit other offences.
Layered security makes you less likely to be a victim of motorcycle theft
Security measures alone cannot guarantee a scooter will not be stolen, but every step taken makes it less attractive to a thief.
The campaign supports Operation Venice, the Met’s response to scooter, motorcycle and moped related crime, often by repeat offenders, which has seen a rise in offences across London.
Commissioner Dick said: “This campaign is about encouraging scooter owners to do everything they can to adequately secure their vehicle against its theft and its subsequent use to commit thefts and violent robberies against the public.
“Police are working hard to make the streets hostile territory for reckless criminals who endanger lives, but it is the easy availability of scooters that is driving the rise in scooter enabled crime.
“So, I urge all riders: properly secure your scooter to reduce its risk of theft. If everyone plays their part, we can thwart these thieves.”
All riders can help reduce motorcycle theft
Steve Kenward, CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Association said: “All riders must play their part in tackling motorcycle and scooter theft by taking sensible security measures when parking – using two or more high quality locks will help to deter opportunistic thieves.
“Our message is simple – protect your bike by layering your security!”
To find out more about this campaign and how you can protect yourself please visit: www.met.police.uk/besafe
Advice to protect against motorcycle theft
- Parking: Choose designated parking with a stand and security loop, or if this is not available try areas with lots of people, good lighting and CCTV.
- Locks: Use more than one lock, focusing on disc locks and chain locks, fitted tight to the bike and through difficult-to-remove parts.
- Time: When leaving your bike for a long period or overnight, lock it to something secure and use a motorbike cover. At home consider using fitted anchors to secure your bike.
- Attention: Use audible alarms where possible to draw unwanted attention to the thieves.
- Marking: Choose to mark your bike parts with the vehicle identification number (VIN) number, your postcode or registration number using an ultraviolet marker pen or property marking kit.
- Insurance: Some specialist companies such as Bikesure, will offer discounts on your insurance if you invest in certain security measures.