ALMOST €350,000 worth of bicycles have been stolen from the streets of Cork city since the start of 2016.
Senior gardaí confirmed that some 683 bicycles — worth an average of €510 each — were stolen in Cork between January 2016 and June this year.
And, worryingly, the volume of thefts is on the increase.
Figures from the Garda Analysis Services show that bicycle theft was up 7.5% in 2017 from the previous year. It is currently on course to increase even further by the end of this year.
Members of An Garda Síochána revealed the figures at a briefing at UCC this morning as they launched a new ‘Lock It or Lose It’ campaign to raise awareness about the frequency of bicycle thefts.
Nationally, some 14,000 bicycles have been stolen since the start of January 2016. In all, the stolen property is worth close to €2 million. Cork, Dublin, Limerick and Galway account for 83% of all bike thefts, with gardaí warning that 52% of bicycles are stolen on public streets.
Almost one-third are stolen from homes. The most common time for a bike to be stolen is between the hours of 8am and 5pm, with Friday being statistically the most common day for thefts.
Cork ranks second nationally for the number of bikes stolen, topped only by Dublin. Rural counties tend to rank lower on the list, with Donegal seeing the fewest thefts since January 2016.
Speaking this morning, crime prevention officer Sgt Tony Davis warned the public to take greater precautions when it comes to looking after their bicycles.
“We are appealing to everyone, from the pros to the Sunday cyclist, to lock their bikes as securely as possible,” Sgt Davis said.
Sgt David added: “There has been an increase in the number of people cycling over recent years but unfortunately there is poor awareness of bike security. Nowadays with cycle-to-work schemes, people are investing in more expensive bikes so it makes sense to invest in quality locks to prevent bike theft.”
Sgt Davis mapped out a few simple tips that can help to reduce the chances of theft.
He said: “A few simple tips such as; spending 10% to 20% of the value of the bike on two locks, locking your bike tightly to an immovable object and keep the lock off the ground, will make life difficult for the thief.
“Take a photo of your bike, note the serial number and email it back to yourself so you have a record of it. Of the 14,000 or so bikes stolen since 2016, we have only approximately 16% of the bicycle frame numbers recorded.”
There is a trend of not reporting bike thefts to the Gardaí, according to Sgt Davis. This makes it almost impossible to recover the property and encourages the resale of the stolen bikes, he added.