Motorcycle theft is a global issue affecting hundreds of thousands of people worldwide every year. Motorcycles are an easy target for thieves as they are much easier to steal than cars. Over 9,500 motorbikes were stolen in Australia in 2019 according to statistics published by the NMVTRC – the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council.
More often than not, the police are either unable or unwilling to combat this problem effectively. Most bikes are never recovered or returned to their owners.
“Be Safe” Campaign
The problem is similar in other countries. For example, over 9000 motorcycles and scooters were stolen in London alone in 2019. Now the London Metropolitan Police has launched a theft prevention campaign, encouraging riders to join the fight against theft of two-wheelers.
The campaign, titled “Be Safe”, encourages riders to take a more active role in reducing motorcycle theft by using extra security measures. It urges riders to use locks, chains and covers in order to make their two-wheeler less attractive to thieves.
As part of the campaign the Metro Police released an animated video labelled “Life of a Stolen Scooter”. It illustrates how a stolen scooter is being used by thieves in a crime spree. The thieves steal property from pedestrians, rob shops and steal petrol.
The animated video also illustrates how the police use “Tactical Contact” to stop the thieves. Tactical Contact is permitted in the U.K. and it basically allows specially trained police officers to ram fleeing motorcycle and scooter riders.
Lock, Chain, Cover
The “Be Safe” campaign urges riders to make it harder for criminals to steal two wheelers by using simple measures:
Lock: use a disc lock to help secure the front brake disc, or a grip lock to secure the brake and throttle controls.
Chain: thieves often steal a bike by breaking the steering lock and wheeling it away. This can be prevented by using a chain lock threaded through the back wheel (as the front wheel can be removed). Secure your bike, with the lock fixed to an immovable object such as a ground anchor or street furniture. If this isn’t possible, thread the chain through your bike frame and back wheel.
Cover: thieves often ‘shop’ for particular bike models. Using a cover instantly makes it less attractive to them. A cover also provides another time consuming obstacle for the thief.
Unfortunately there is no single “silver bullet” solution to this problem and there is no guarantee your bike will not be stolen. However, by using multiple security measures you can make your bike harder to steal and less attractive to thieves. Using a combination of chains, locks, covers, alarm systems and tracking devices will reduce the chance of your bike being stolen.
Personally I have great doubts that such a campaign will be launched in Australia. Reducing motorcycle theft does not appear to be topping the priority list of any of our states’ police forces. However, we as riders can do our bit to protect our precious bikes.