Motorcycle Crime Reduction Group urges bikers to lock-up their bikes during the lockdown

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Published on 9 November 2020 by Mike Waters

Members of the Motorcycle Crime Reduction Group (MCRG) have urged motorcyclists to avoid security complacency during the COVID-19 pandemic. Reassuring headlines about reduced crime during the pandemic may be less accurate when it comes to motorcycle theft.

The Office for National Statistics issued reports in August stating that crime was down by 35% during the lockdown. Police National Computer (PNC) figures for stolen motorcycles are showing as much as a 45% reduction against the same period last year. These are all encouraging indicators, but input from various MCRG member organisations leads the group to urge riders not to become complacent.

Feedback from members suggests that the national figures do not give us the full picture on motorcycle theft. The national vehicle crime working group, which looks at all vehicles, report no reductions in overall vehicle theft. Figures from the PNC are known not to cover vehicles stolen and recovered within a few hours, nor vehicles which are not registered with the DVLA, such as off-road bikes.

Businesses that monitor and recover bikes fitted with trackers are anecdotally reporting increases in thefts. The success and increasing numbers of trackers means that stolen bikes are often recovered very quickly, and thus never get added to the PNC.

The 2020 PNC data does show that London remains the hotspot for bike theft. The Metropolitan Police Force are reporting a staggering 66% of all stolen motorcycles and 49% of all stolen scooters recorded on the PNC.

The message from the MCRG is take care to make your bike as secure as you can. This simple message applies wherever you live and wherever you need to park, but more so if you live or park in London.

Here are some things you can do to keep your bike secure. To maximise deterrence, use multiple security measures:

• During the day, park in a busy, public place.

• At night, if away from home, park in a well-lit area.

• Vary your parking place. Don’t create a ‘pattern’ of use.

• When available, always use a motorcycle parking bay with an anchor point.

• Use a ‘Secured Car Park’ if there is one about.

• Engage the steering lock and lock/secure your bike – even if leaving it for just a couple of minutes.

• Cover your bike if possible.

• Use an approved D-shackle or chain lock.

• Secure your bike to something solid – stop it being carried or simply pushed away.

• Keep the lock and chain off the ground – it makes it more difficult to break.

• Always set your Immobiliser and alarm – it will help stop the opportunist thief or joyrider.

• At home, out of sight is invariably out of mind when it comes to a thief.

• Use an approved security marking and registration system.

• Use an approved GPS/VHF/RF satellite tracking system.

The Motorcycle Crime Reduction Group is a partnership made up of representatives from rider interest groups, the insurance and security industries, motorcycle manufacturers and retailers, and the Police with links to, and contributions from, the Home Office.

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