Lock it or lose it
An Garda Síochána is reminding the public to take extra precautions in keeping their bicycles safe by locking them in the most secure way possible.
Since January 2020 up to April 23, 2021 a total of 6,845 bicycles have been stolen across the country, with An Garda Síochána recovering 2,139 bicycles. Many cannot be returned to their owners as their serial numbers are not recorded.
In Sligo/ Leitrim 26 bicylces were stolen in 2020 and 5 this year up to April 23, 2021
Of the bicycles stolen since January 2020 only 1 in every 5 bike owners were able to provide their bicycle frame / serial number when reporting the theft to Gardaí. This causes problems reuniting bicycles with their owners.
An Garda Síochána has the following Crime Prevention advice to help owners protect their bikes from theft:
• Spend 10% to 20% of the value of your bike on two locks.
• Lock your bike tightly to an immovable object.
• Keep the lock off the ground.
• When storing your bike at home in a shed or garage ensure it is locked to an immovable object or another heavy item i.e a lawnmower
• Take a photo of your bike, note the serial number and email it back to yourself or store it on the cloud so you have a record of it forever.
• Lock your bike indoors or in well-lit areas if possible.
An Garda Síochána has a number of recovered bicycles at Garda Stations around the country which have not yet been claimed.
Photos of bicycles which have been recovered but not yet returned to their owners are available by Division on www.garda.ie and on An Garda Síochána’s Divisional Facebook Pages along with details for owners to claim their bike.
Crime Prevention Officer in the Galway Garda Division Sgt Michael Walsh said, "We are appealing to all bicycle owners to ensure they lock their bikes as securely as possible when they are not in use. Anecdotally, more people are cycling since the start of the pandemic and this is to be welcomed. Schemes like cycle to work offer great opportunities to those taking up cycling but it does mean people are investing in more expensive bikes. Therefore, it makes sense to invest in quality locks to prevent bike theft. A good quality lock would involve spending 10% to 20% of the value of the bike on two locks. On average this would amount to €140/€150.
When locking your bike ensure you secure it tightly to an immovable object and keep the lock off of the ground.
This advice also extends to securing your bike at your home. If your bike is stored in a shed or garage ensure it is locked to either an immovable object or another heavy item, such as a lawnmower.
Sgt Walsh added, "Take a photo of your bike. Note the serial number, which is located on the underside of your bike close to the pedals. Email the photo and serial number to yourself or store it on the cloud, so you will always have a record of it.
"If your bike is stolen, report the theft to Gardaí as soon as you can, and ensure you have your serial number to hand if you have it. If you have had your bicycle stolen, you can now go onto the Garda website www.garda.ie or our Garda divisional Facebook pages to view bicycles that are currently in our property stores”.
In addition An Garda Síochána wishes to remind the public that cyclists are regarded as vulnerable road users and motorists need to exercise care when encountering cyclists, alone or in groups.
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