Bike Dock Solutions set up a hidden camera to test reactions of the public to witnessing bicycle theft, finding that few – if any – were willing to intervene or report on what they had seen.
The firm sent a camera crew to a London market location, where an actor was filmed ‘stealing’ a bicycle many times during the day, in front of numbers of witnesses. Over ten ‘thefts’ took place over an hour, during which time nobody intervened or interacted with the ‘thief’. View the film below.
Bike Dock said that the exercise showed on average it takes three minutes for people to recognise that a theft has taken place and that, at the busiest times, up to 15 people could walk past the theft without recognising or intervening.
“Although more and more people are being encouraged to take up cycling, they are still being deterred by the lack of secure cycle parking facilities," said Bike Dock director James Nash. "In the UK, a bicycle is stolen every minute and less than five per cent of those are returned to their owners.
“Cyclists are more likely to have their bikes stolen than motorcyclists their motorcycle or car owners their car, and cycle theft is found to be the single greatest deterrent to cycle use after fears concerning road safety.”
Based on police crime statistics from 2010, a report released in June suggests that bicycle theft costs British cyclists around £80m a year. The same report put the total number of reported stolen bikes in the UK at 115,147.
The study also suggested that only 20 per cent of cycle thefts are reported to the police – meaning the true number of bicycles stolen in the UK each year is actually closer to 533,000. Compared to 2009, the statistics indicate that reported cycle theft has increased by four per cent, whilst there has been a 12 per cent increase in unreported cycle theft.
Naturally, Bike Dock Solutions suggested that by fitting an array of secure, high quality cycle parking solutions at public and commercial premises nationwide can help tackle cycle crime and provide peace of mind for cyclists.