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UK Motorcycle Theft Hotspots Revealed

uk motorcycle theft statistics region - UK Motorcycle Theft Hotspots Revealed

THE COUNTIES of Bristol, East Yorkshire and Herefordshire have the highest number of motorcycle thefts per resident, according to stolen motorcycle data recorded over the last 12 months.

The UK-wide study has been compiled by BikerRated.com from data collected by bikersunited.co.uk, the UK’s stolen motorcycle database.

The report also compares the number of motorcycle thefts in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It looks at each of these countries in their component regions and counties, revealing the worst regions and individual counties for motorcycle theft across the UK.

The three worst regions, Greater London, the South East and the North West account for 54.8% of all stolen motorcycles in the UK. 94.6% of the UK’s stolen motorcycles were reported in England, whereas just 5.4% of the reported stolen motorcycles were in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

The 10 counties with the least recorded motorcycle thefts recorded just 2.8% of England’s total reported stolen motorcycles and scooters.

There were 27,000 motorcycles stolen in the UK in 2018, compared to 115,000 new motorcycle sales in the same period. One in seven vehicles stolen in the UK are motorcycles, mopeds or scooters and yet motorcycles make up just 2% of all registered vehicles on UK roads. Additionally, motorcycles are six times more likely to be stolen than any other vehicle. The disproportionate amount of theft is a worrying picture for the motorcycle industry. 

A study by the British Motorcyclists Federation shows that 1 in every 46 registered motorcycles were stolen in the UK in 2018. Motorcycle theft is a huge issue, with many bikers having lost confidence in the police, who are seen as being slow to tackle motorcycle theft and moped-enabled crime.

Stolen Motorcycles in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

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Percentage of UK’s total reported motorcycle thefts

England

94.6%

Wales

3.4%

Scotland

1.7%

Northern Ireland

0.3%

It’s unsurprising that England tops the charts with the highest number of reported motorcycle and scooter thefts over the past 12 months. However it’s margin of dominance may surprise some.

Per person, residents of England are 60% more likely to become a victim of motorcycle theft when compared to residents of Wales and more than 500% more likely when compared to residents of Scotland.

Stolen Motorcycles in England By Region

england regions motorcycle crime uk 1024x640 - UK Motorcycle Theft Hotspots Revealed

Region

Percentage of England’s total reported motorcycle thefts

Greater London

26.6%

South East

16.9%

North West

14.5%

Yorkshire and the Humber

10.0%

East Midlands

9.1%

West Midlands

8.0%

East of England

6.8%

South West

5.7%

North East

2.4%

Greater London makes up more than a quarter of England’s total reported thefts, followed by the South East with almost 17% and the North West with 14.5%. With thoose three worst regions accounting for 58% of all motorcycle theft in England. 

Motorcycle Thefts Calculated Per Capita – English Counties

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Below we have ranked each county from most thefts to least which reveals a more detailed picture of England’s worst counties for motorcycle crime. The map above highlights England’s five worst counties for motorcycle thefts per resident in red.

County

Rank – Thefts Per Resident

 

Bristol

1st (highest number of thefts per resident)

 

East Yorkshire

2nd

 

Herefordshire

3rd

 

Cheshire

4th

 

East Sussex

5th

 

Derbyshire

6th

 

Berkshire

7th

 

Greater London

8th

 

Bedfordshire

9th

 

Northamptonshire

10th

 

Kent

11th

 

Durham

12th

 

Manchester

13th

 

Warwickshire

14th

 

Hampshire

15th

 

West Yorkshire

16th

 

Wiltshire

17th

 

West Midlands

18th

 

Nottinghamshire

19th

 

Essex

20th

 

Leicestershire

21st

 

Lancashire

22nd

 

South Yorkshire

23rd

 

Merseyside

24th

 

Isle of Wight

25th

 

West Sussex

26th

 

Buckinghamshire

27th

 

Shropshire

28th

 

North Yorkshire

29th

 

Surrey

30th

 

Cambridgeshire

31st

 

Oxfordshire

32nd

 

Worcestershire

33rd

 

Hertfordshire

34th

 

Staffordshire

35th

 

Cumbria

36th

 

Dorset

37th

 

Cornwall

38th

 

Tyne and Wear

39th

 

Norfolk

40th

 

Somerset

41st

 

Northumberland

42nd

 

Suffolk

43rd

 

Lincolnshire

44th

 

Devon

45th

 

Gloucestershire

46th

 

Rutland

47th

 

Bristol, East Yorkshire and Herefordshire top the charts as the counties with the highest amount of reported motorcycle thefts per capita. 

While Greater London always makes the headlines when it comes to motorcycle theft and motorcycle-enabled crime, it ranks 8th on our chart, due to it having fewer motorcycle thefts per capita, below the counties of East Sussex, Derbyshire and Berkshire.

Devon, Gloucestershire and Rutland are the counties with the least number of motorcycle and scooter thefts per capita. The 10 counties with the lowest reports of stolen motorcycles make up just 2.6% of England’s total. Whereas 3% of England’s reported motorcycle thefts were from Greenwich, London’s worst borough.

A Detailed Look At Motorcycle Theft By Regions of England

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The tables below rank each of the English regions according to the volume of reported stolen motorcycles.

Of the 9 regions, Greater London ranks 1st, with the highest amount of stolen motorcycles, while the North East ranks 9th, making it the region with the least reports of motorcycle theft.

The tables below show the percentage of reported stolen motorcycles in each borough or county as a proportion of the region’s total thefts.

Greater London

26.6% of all thefts in England (Ranked 1st of 9)

Borough

Percent of Region’s Total

Greenwich

11.4%

Barking and Dagenham

10.2%

Wandsworth

8.0%

City of London

6.8%

Westminster

6.8%

Lewisham

5.1%

Southwark

5.1%

Barnet

4.5%

Camden

3.4%

Enfield

3.4%

Lambeth

3.4%

Ealing

2.8%

Tower Hamlets

2.8%

Croydon

2.3%

Hammersmith & Fulham

2.3%

Islington

2.3%

Merton

2.3%

Brent

1.7%

Hackney

1.7%

Havering

1.7%

Hillingdon

1.7%

Hounslow

1.7%

Bexley

1.1%

Bromley

1.1%

Haringey

1.1%

Harrow

1.1%

Kensington & Chelsea

1.1%

Kingston upon Thames

1.1%

Newham

0.6%

Redbridge

0.6%

Sutton

0.6%

Richmond upon Thames

0.0%

Waltham Forest

0.0%

The worst borough is Greenwich which represents 11.4% of all Greater London’s stolen motorcycles, a huge 2.8% of the UK’s total. The second worst borough is Barking and Dagenham with 10.2% of all Greater’s London’s motorcycle thefts and Wandsworth with 8.0%.

South East

16.9% of all thefts in England (2nd of 9)

County

Percent of Region’s Total

East Sussex

23.2%

Kent

21.4%

Berkshire

17.9%

Hampshire

17.0%

Surrey

6.3%

West Sussex

5.4%

Buckinghamshire

4.5%

Oxfordshire

3.6%

Isle of Wight

0.9%

Alongside Greater London, the South East is one of the worst regions to own a bike.  East Sussex recorded the highest amount of thefts with 23.2% of the South East’s total. Kent is the second-worst affected county with 21.4%, while 17.9% were reported in Berkshire. The Isle of Wight is unsurprisingly the region with the least amount of motorcycle theft.

North West

14.5% of all thefts in England (3rd of 9)

County

Percent of Region’s Total

Cheshire

37.5%

Manchester

36.5%

Lancashire

12.5%

Merseyside

11.5%

Cumbria

2.1%

The North West makes up 14.5% of all motorcycles and scooters stolen in England. 

Cheshire tops the North West’s table as the county you’re most likely to have your motorcycle stolen, with 37.5% of thefts reported here, while Manchester is close behind with 36.5%.  In fact Cheshire is the England’s 4th worst county for motorcycle thefts per capita in England.

Cumbria is one of the safest areas in the North West, with only 2.1% of the North West’s stolen bikes reported here.

Yorkshire and The Humber

10% of all thefts in England (4th of 9)

County

Percent of Region’s Total

East Yorkshire

37.9%

West Yorkshire

34.8%

South Yorkshire

16.7%

North Yorkshire

10.6%

Yorkshire and The Humber is the 4th worst region in England for motorcycle theft with 10% of all stolen motorcycles reported here.

East Yorkshire and West Yorkshire were the worst counties, with 37.9% and 34.8% respectively.  North Yorkshire is the area with the lowest amount of recorded motorcycle thefts, just 10.6% of Yorkshire’s total.

In fact, East Yorkshire is England’s 2nd worst county for motorcycle thefts per capita.

East Midlands

9.1% of all thefts in England (5th of 9)

County

Percent of Region’s Total

Derbyshire

48.3%

Nottinghamshire

18.3%

Northamptonshire

16.7%

Leicestershire

15.0%

Lincolnshire

1.7%

Rutland

0.0%

9.1% of reported stolen motorcycle and scooters were in the East Midlands.

48.3% of these were concentrated in the county of Derbyshire, followed by Nottinghamshire with 18.3%. No motorcycles were reported stolen in Rutland. 

West Midlands 

8% of all thefts in England (6th of 9)

County

Percent of Region’s Total

West Midlands

52.8%

Herefordshire

13.2%

Warwickshire

13.2%

Staffordshire

9.4%

Shropshire

5.7%

Worcestershire

5.7%

West Midlands tops the list with 52.8% of the region’s stolen motorcycles reported here. Herefordshire and Warwickshire are joint second-worst of the region’s counties, with 26.4% of all thefts reported here (13.2% in each county). 

East of England

6.8% of all thefts in England (7th of 9)

County

Percent of Region’s Total

Essex

35.6%

Bedfordshire

28.9%

Hertfordshire

13.3%

Cambridgeshire

11.1%

Norfolk

6.7%

Suffolk

4.4%

6.8% of England’s stolen motorcycles and scooters were reported in the East of England. Essex had the most thefts with 35.6% followed closely by Bedfordshire, with 28.9%. Hertfordshire is the third worst county, with 13.3%. The most secure areas were Norfolk and Suffolk, accounting for 6.8% and 4.6% of the regions motorcycle thefts. 

Bedfordshire ranks in England’s top 10 worst counties for motorcycle thefts per capita.

South West 

5.7% of all thefts in England (8th of 9)

County

Percent of Region’s Total

Bristol

57.9%

Wiltshire

18.4%

Dorset

7.9%

Somerset

7.9%

Cornwall

5.3%

Devon

2.6%

Gloucestershire

0.0%

The South West makes up just 5.7% of England’s total, however Bristol is England’s worst county for motorcycle thefts per capita.

While the South West as a region scores well, 57.9% of the region’s reported motorcycle thefts were from Bristol and 18.4% in Wiltshire. Both Dorset and Somerset recorded 7.9% of the South West’s total motorbike thefts.

North East

2.4% of all thefts in England (9th of 9)

County

Percent of Region’s Total

County Durham

68.8%

Tyne and Wear

25.0%

Northumberland

6.3%

When it comes to motorcycle theft, the North East is one of the safest regions to own a motorcycle with just 2.4% of England’s total.

There were more motorcycles stolen in Greenwich, Greater London than in the entire North East. Most of these reported crimes (68.8%) occurred in County Durham. Tyne and Wear follows with 25%, while 6.3% were stolen in Northumberland.

In Conclusion

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Motorcycles have had pretty much the same security for the past 30 years and yet motorcycle thefts have increased by over 50% in the last 5 years. This huge rise in motorcycle and moped theft coincides with most of the UK’s police policy to not pursue motorcycle thieves if they’re not wearing a helmet – a decision that thieves have capitalised on.

While the police are keen to place the focus on motorcyclists not using enough security to protect their motorcycles, it’s clear that the weak approach by the majority of police forces across the UK has fuelled the rise in motorcycle crime. Simply put, criminals know that they won’t be chased and are unlikely to face justice.

How You Can Reduce The Chances Of Your Motorcycle Being Stolen

Without any additional security, a motorcycle is fairly easy to steal – it always has been.

It’s worth using additional security to make it harder for thieves to steal your bike and reduce the chance of your motorcycle being stolen.

It’s clear to see that some regions are far worse than others when it comes to motorcycle theft. However, no matter how good your security, nothing can guarantee that your bike won’t get stolen.

You can dramatically reduce the chances of becoming a victim of motorcycle theft. Below we outline a simple and cost-effective way to deter thieves from trying to steal your motorcycle or scooter.    

The best approach is to think in terms of layers; the more layers of security you use, the more likely a thief will go looking for an easier target.

The layers system is simple: 

  1. Use a disc lock
  2. Cover the bike
  3. Chain it to something solid

For more information on how to use layers, see this comprehensive guide on the best motorcycle security. Remember, just one piece of security, like a £30 disc lock, will reduce the chance of you becoming a victim of motorcycle theft by as much as 70%.