Cyclists in Brighton and Hove are being urged to use the recent drop in bike thefts to help them cut their insurance premiums.
While insurance is not legally required – unlike for car drivers – many choose to cover their bikes, especially more expensive bikes, against the cost of replacing them if stolen.
Price comparison website Quotezone said that nationally 21 per cent fewer bikes were stolen in the past 12 months compared with the year before.
It said: “The figures show that from July 2018 to June 2019 there were more than 90,000 reported incidents but from July 2019 to June 2020 this had dropped to 71,000 bicycle thefts – a 21 per cent fall.”
And it added that Sussex Police had the 11th highest rate for bicycle theft out of 44 forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from June 2019 to May 2020.
Sussex Police recorded 905 bicycle thefts in the six months to the end of May, according to Quotezone, with 278 in the area covered by the three parliamentary constituencies for Brighton and Hove.
But in 2018-19 there were 834 bike thefts in Brighton and Hove, according to Sussex Police, with 426 – more than half – in just four of the 21 local electoral wards – Brunswick and Adelaide, Queen’s Park, Regency and St Peter’s and North Laine.
Quotezone said: “Despite a rise to 6,870 reported thefts in June, up from 5,700 in May, the long-term trend has been falling.
“The monthly average was 5,915 for July 2019 to June 2020, down from 7,510 for the preceding 12 months.
“While the lockdown saw the lowest figure (4,046 in April) for the past two years, December had almost exactly the same figure (4,047).
“The high point for bicycle theft in the past two years was in July 2018 with 9,910 thefts.”
The site offers, for example, quotes for a £750 Brompton ranging from £36 to £112 at a BN2 address, and for a £995 Gtech electric bike at a BN3 address ranging from £47 to £124.
Greg Wilson, founder of Quotezone.co.uk, which launched one of Britain’s first price comparison services for bicycle insurance, said: “It’s really positive to see such a significant drop in the number of bike thefts, especially when bike sales have spiked due to the pandemic and the subsequent push for people to get fit and lose weight – at a social distance.
“Hopefully this latest trend marks a continued decline in petty crimes like theft and burglaries, with lockdown teaching us a renewed sense of community spirit and fuelling the revival of local support networks such as neighbourhood watch.
“Although the total number of bicycle thefts is falling, the risk of theft hasn’t disappeared, which is why we’d encourage people, especially if they have made a significant investment in new bicycle equipment in recent months, to double-check that their home insurance covers their bike.
“If their bicycle isn’t covered, or if the single item limit on their home insurance policy means the coverage isn’t enough to meet their needs, we’d advise them to look into a standalone bicycle insurance policy for their new wheels.”
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