A bicycle is stolen in the UK every 65 seconds, according to Halifax Home Insurance, at an average estimated cost to the victim of £337. But much of this crime goes unreported to the police as people believe it is unlikely to be investigated.
But failing to report the theft can invalidate any subsequent insurance claim.
London is identified as the worst area for bike crime, followed by Reading, Bristol, Gloucester and Oxford. To avoid falling victim, the Halifax suggests fitting a u-type lock to an unattended cycle.
"We have been looking into the frequency of bike theft for some years now and still we see no sign of a decrease," said David Rochester, head of underwriting at Halifax Home Insurance. "We encourage all who experience bike crime to report it to the police. Otherwise, they could miss the opportunity to make a claim.
"One bicycle theft every 65 seconds in the UK is shocking," he added. "With the majority of thefts affecting bikes that have been placed under lock and key, it may be worth considering spending a little more money for a high-security lock that may stand a better chance of deterring a thief."