Cycle crime

To make your bike less appealing to thieves Cambridgeshire police recommend cyclists to lock your bikes up correctly, using good quality locks. We also suggest that you 'Register' them at for free and if your cycle is stolen, 'Report it', so that there is a better chance of being 'Reunited' with your bike.

Lock it, don’t lose it!

About 2,500 bicycles were stolen in Cambridge city in 2009. Follow the golden rules below to reduce the risk of theft and increase the chances of recovering your bike if it’s stolen.

As soon as you buy a bike you should…

1. Register

Register your bike at It only takes a couple of minutes and it’s FREE. All you need is your bicycle model, make and frame number. Once you have registered your bike, you will have a better chance of getting it back if it is lost or stolen. You can also register other property at the same time, for example your mobile phones or laptop.

If you can’t find your bike frame number, have a look:

  • Underneath the pedals on the bottom of the frame.
  • On the frame near the handlebars.
  • On the frame where the seat post fits.
  • On the frame towards the back wheel.

2. Report

If your bike is stolen, report it to the police on 101 and flag it as stolen on your account as soon as possible. Reporting your bike as lost or stolen helps the police match its description and return it to you.

If your bike is recovered and you have registered it you will be contacted and told your cycle is safe. Cambridgeshire Constabulary recover 700 – 800 bikes each year. Remember the best chance you have of getting your bike back is to register it.

How to lock your bike safely

It’s always best to use two different locks – it makes it harder to steal as the thief needs different tools for each lock.

Sergeant Gordon Morgenthaler says “The theft of cycles in Cambridgeshire is a real issue for many people who live, work or study in our county.

"We are tackling the thieves, but we need cyclists to help. It is not only about buying a good quality lock to reduce the risk of your bike being stolen. It is about using the locks properly.

"Locking your bike to a cycle rack, in a busy area, that is well lit makes it much safer than leaving it with the lock through the frame, but not attached to anything. It seems simple and it is obvious, yet so many people leave their bike unlocked or very poorly secured”.

  • Lock ‘tight’ so that your bike is hard to move around when parked.
  • Lock both wheels and the frame to a bike stand or other immoveable object.
  • Secure your lock so it does not touch the ground.


BikeRegister is the UK's national cycle database and the leading online bicycle identification and registration initiative aiming to reduce cycle theft, identify stolen bikes and assist in owner recovery.

Registering your bike helps police and retailers identify and verify the legitimate owner of bikes that have been stolen or are being resold. BikeRegister is used by every UK Police Force and is free to register, all you need is the frame number of your bike and an email address.

Once registered on the secure online database., cyclists benefit from:

  • Free bike(s) registration
  • Lifetime access to the BikeRegister database
  • A registration Log Book to be used as proof of possession/ownership
  • Secure online access to your account
  • Free photo upload to help identify your bike in case of theft.

Visit for more information.

Extra points to remember

  • Park your bike where everyone can see it. Other people will also see if someone is trying to steal it.
  • Make sure the locks catch the bike frame as well as both wheels and the post, or a thief may steal the bike and leave the wheels behind. Also, make sure the post can’t be cut through or the bike lifted off it.
  • Don’t leave your bike in the same place every day.
  • Locks can be picked, so face the lock to the ground (but not resting on it) so it can’t easily be turned upwards for picking.
  • Make it impossible for a thief to smash the lock open: fill the D part of a lock with as much of the bike as possible. Never leave the lock lying on the pavement, where it could be tampered with easily.
  • Take with you any items that can be removed without tools such as wheels, lights, pump, saddle etc.

Find out more about what our partner agencies are doing to reduce bicycle theft at:

'Lock it don't lose it' poster

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