Bike theft leaves industry facing uphill struggle

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Britain's bicycle thieves are stealing goods worth nearly a third of the UK bicycle industry's total annual revenue, according to Halifax Home Insurance.

The insurance provider states that the 439,000 bicycles stolen annually in the UK are together worth £146 million – close to one third of the £500 million Halifax says is generated by the bicycle industry each year.

Statistics from the 2005/06 British crime survey reveal a ten per cent increase in the numbers of bicycle thefts, equating to one theft every 71 seconds. Vicky Emmott of Halifax Home Insurance suggested that the UK's growing green habits are responsible for this unwanted side-effect.

"The increase in thefts is due to an upsurge in the popularity of cycling across Britain," she said.

"With increasing numbers of employers taking up initiatives such as the government's cycle to work scheme, opportunities for thieves will only increase."

Halifax Home Insurance ranked London as the worst location for bicycle theft crime, with Kingston-upon-Thames, Cambridge and Bristol placed second, third and fourth respectively.

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