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Cycle Security

Bike marking events in Derby

CycleSecureDerbyPageImageFree bike markings are available. Contact the local policing team for your area on 101 for more information.

In previous events, Derby City Council worked in partnership with Safer Neighbourhood Teams during the launch of Cycle Secure Derby - a new campaign to tackle cycle crime in the city.

The City and Neighbourhood Partnership, along with ourselves, have purchased a number of bike marking kits which will be available on a first come first served basis. The kit works by marking the bike with a unique code, which is linked to the owner’s details on a secure database. If their cycle is stolen and subsequently found, police can use this code to ensure the bike is returned back to its rightful owner.

Councillor Asaf Afzal, Cabinet Member for Cohesion and Integration, says: “Bikes are always a popular gift at Christmas time, so anyone who received one should make sure they get theirs securely marked in case they’re unfortunate enough to have it stolen.

“Cycling has increased in popularity in recent years but unfortunately bikes have also become increasingly popular for opportunist thieves.

“I'd encourage cyclists to take reasonable precautions to secure their bike when around the city. This registration scheme is extremely effective in tracing stolen bikes but we prefer them not to be stolen in the first place.”

When it comes to spending money on securing bikes, the City and Neighbourhood Partnership say in most cases 10% of the value of the bike should be spent on quality locks available from numerous outlets.

Sergeant Mark Preston from Derbyshire police said: “All too often we see bike thefts that could have been easily prevented with better security. Bike owners can take simple measures to ensure their bike is as secure as possible and difficult for thieves to steal. I’d encourage bike owners to invest in good quality D-Locks or similar quality locks and where appropriate, make use of the free secure cycle parking at Park Bikeworks in the city.

“Bike marking is equally important, as it primarily acts as a visible deterrent to would-be thieves and secondly it makes it easier for the bike to be found and return it to its rightful owner and help to secure a successful prosecution against thieves.”

There will be a number of bike marking events over the year and officers will also be visiting cycle and second hand shops to promote ‘BikeChecker’.  ‘

“BikeChecker” is a free service for people purchasing a second-hand bike, which allows you to check that the bike is not listed as stolen.


For more information contact your local safer neighbourhood policing team on 101.


Capture Bikes in operation in Derby

Can you tell the difference?

CaptureBike2Can you spot the difference between the two bikes pictured above? No? Thought not. It's the same bike. The point is, thieves won't be able to spot the difference either when officers in Derby place anonymous-looking 'capture bikes' around the city in an attempt to catch bike thieves.

This new scheme is a response to thefts of bikes in the city. Officers will regularly deploy the bikes - which come fully fitted with trackers to catch out the thieves - in various places.

They look just the same as any others; they could be old or new, clean or dirty, valuable or inexpensive. The important difference is that police can track the bike in real-time to locate the bike and the offender. This has recently seen the arrests of both thieves and handlers.

CaptureBike1Sgt Mark Preston (Safer Neighbourhood Sergeant) says:“It continues to surprise me that people don’t spend a little more on good quality locks. We see all too often bike thefts which could have been easily prevented with better security. 

People love their bikes and for some, they are essential. Yet they take unnecessary risks. I don’t think people are generally aware of how weak some of the cheaper locks are. It’s a false economy”

PC Russ Davey, of the Darley Safer Neighbourhood team in Derby, adds: “I had no idea until I started dealing with bike thefts how important it was to note down the frame number. Actually, I wasn’t aware bikes had frame numbers! I’d say only about 10% of people I deal with who have had bikes stolen are able to give us the number.  If more people did we’d be able to get many more back to people. It’s frustrating when we find bikes we suspect to be stolen but can’t trace an owner”.

Security advice/guidance

As in any other part of the country, Derbyshire is home to many people who may fall or who have already fallen victim to bicycle theft - be it either in a street location or from houses and out-buildings.

We work hard to drum home the importance of bicycle security with regular Safer Neighbourhood Team bike marking events, in which people can take their bike to a location and have it security marked by their local SNT. The teams use SmartWater to mark the bikes which makes them more easily identifiable to police in the event of them being lost or stolen.

But there are ways that you can prevent them from being stolen in the first place.

The below has been provided by Durham Constabulary.

Get a good lock

There are plenty of good locks on the market. Obviously we can't endorse one brand over another, but we can recommend a D-Lock. Search the internet and don't go for a cheap model. The chances are if you're wanting to safeguard your bike you've paid a lot of money for it. Why sacrifice that and opt for a cheap lock?

What locks should you use?

Lock strength can vary enormously and you generally get what you pay for. Essentially any lock can be broken, but having a lock will definitely deter opportunistic thieves, and using more than one type of lock will make stealing your bike even harder.

There is a three-tier security grading system developed by Sold Secure (a non-profit making company which assesses security products) and used by many insurance companies.

At the highest level are the Gold-rated locking devices. These give you maximum security but may be too bulky or expensive for the average user. The Silver and Bronze levels may be lighter and cheaper but should still offer defence against the opportunist thief. When deciding which lock to buy you need to consider how much your cycle is worth, where you will be leaving it, and how often and for how long it will be left unattended. Good advice is to spend at least 20% of the value of your cycle on a lock and preferably use two different types of lock if you are leaving your cycle for any length of time.

D lock/U lock

These are rigid steel locks in a D or U shape, generally very heavy and tough looking, though the actual strength can vary and is normally reflected in the price you pay. D locks are by no means thief-proof and are best used in combination with another form of lock.

Lock your bike - always!

Storing your cycle inside your home or office - especially overnight - is the safest option. (Many insurance companies will only cover you if you store your cycle inside overnight). Alternatively, if home/office is not feasible, a shed or a garage should be used.

Don't trust weak shed locks!

Sheds are notoriously easy to access as the locks are only as strong as the screws holding them in. If you need to keep your bike in the shed, treat it as though it were on the street. Secure it properly, preferably to other bikes and items such as ladders or racking to make life hard for the thieves.

How should you secure your bike?

HowToSecureYourBikeAlways lock your frame and both wheels to an immovable object.

Take all accessories and easily removable parts with you, and be aware that quick release levers can make seats and wheels very easy to remove. You may need to take these with you or lock them with the bike if you have not replaced quick releases with a normal nut and bolt or specialised locking nut and bolt.

Use a good quality lock. The lock you choose should reflect the circumstances you will be locking your cycle under. The less secure the location the tougher the lock needs to be. As mentioned above, good advice is to spend at least 20% of the value of your cycle on a lock and preferably use two different types of lock if you are leaving your cycle for any length of time.

When using a chain to lock your cycle avoid laying it against the ground or against walls as thieves can smash the chains against these. Instead, lock the chain high up around your bicycle and what you are locking to.

When using D locks, attach your frame and back wheel (optionally taking off the front wheel or include this too) to the immobile object you are locking to so you leave a minimum of space between these. This stops thieves inserting bars or jacks into the space and levering them open.

Buy as small a D lock as is practicable to fit around what you are locking up. Position the lock opening facing down so it is harder to pour substances into the lock (these can be used to eat the lock away or to glue the lock up so you can't get it open and thieves can come along later to force it open).

When parking on the street it is generally best to use cycle parking stands. Avoid using "street furniture" as these may be removed by local authorities. Keep in mind that some posts lift out of the ground, while cycles can be lifted off shorter posts like parking regulation signs and parking meters.

Ensure you are not blocking pavements for other users and that you are not using fixtures that have signs asking you not to secure your cycle to them (or it may be removed/double locked).

Park where there is good street lighting, and it is always best to lock your cycle in view of CCTV. Thieves will have less opportunity to steal or vandalise it if they fear being seen or captured on CCTV. Avoid hiding your cycle away out of public view. This gives the thieves the time and privacy to steal it.

Mark your property

There are various ways to mark your personal property to protect it against theft and help police to return it to you if it is stolen and recovered.

You can mark your property yourself, quickly and at very little cost by using the following techniques:

• Forensic Marking

• Ultra-Violet Marking

• Engraving

We recommend that you mark all of your valuable and personal items. Take a photograph of them, too.

Get Your Bike Insured

An easy way to do this is to extend your home contents insurance to cover your bicycle - but make sure it covers you for thefts outside the home too. If your bicycle is particularly valuable, you may need to insure it separately.

Also, register your bike on www.bikeregister.com. They can also supply marking equipment to security mark your bike.

Useful links

Bike Register
Protect your bike from theft by joining the UK’s national, police-approved, bicycle marking & registration scheme.

Find That Bike
Bike adverts from all the major UK classifieds

Stolen Bikes
Database of bikes reported as stolen from in and around the UK

Cycle Secure Derby on Twitter
The team have taken to Twitter to keep followers up-to-date and to promote their events.


Do you need a quick answer to a general question? Then we recommend you visit the national Ask The Police web site.