In recent weeks, the numbers of motorbikes being stolen have rocketed, as thieves take advantage of the fact that the coronavirus has knocked everyone’s routine out of shape.
Five years ago, the police stopped pursuing thieves on mopeds and stolen motorcycles. Anyone with half a brain cell can see that has helped nurture an industry of motorcycle theft and it’s an issue we’ll be fighting for years. But the fact is, it’s happened and there’s nothing we can do to change the past.
But there is something we can do to change the future.
I want to smash one myth
There is a phrase that I see everywhere on social media when people talk about motorcycle theft and it gets passed-off as a fact when actually it’s a load of b*llocks.
I want to set the record straight.
The saying goes: “If they want it, they’ll have it.”
That saying drives me mad because it’s just not true.
That saying, when read by new riders or less experienced bikers, almost resigns you to the fact that you can’t do much to combat motorcycle crime. That when it’s your time to have your bike nicked, it’s your time.
That saying says that you might as well not bother doing anything.
It empowers the thieves to strut around like they own the place. Thinking they can have anything, do what they like and no-one can stop them.
I surveyed 200 motorcycles across 10 locations in London over the course of a day and over 50% of them ONLY had a steering lock fitted. No other visible security.
The saying should be changed to: “If they want it, they won’t have to look far because 50% of bikers don’t use any additional security.”
But it’s not as catchy and therefore won’t get as many Retweets and Likes by people who think motorcycle theft it’s someone else’s problem.
When I spoke to one of the Stolen Motorcycle Recovery reps – someone who is on the scene, recovering multiple stolen bikes each week – he told me that the vast majority of the bikes they get called to recover had no security fitted.
I said to him that if someone came to me, asking for me to give up my free time to help them find their bike, I’d tell them to poke it if they weren’t at least trying to keep it secure in the first place.
A steering lock is a waste of time
Any thief can and will break it in seconds. I’ve heard of bikes being written off because the thief cracked the headstock while breaking the steering lock.
A £10 disc lock is pretty much a waste of time too. A few hammer blows and it’ll shatter. If you’re going to buy and use security, don’t be a tight-arse and buy the cheapest crappy lock. You’re wasting your own time.
Buy something that’s worth having. Something that will save you hours on the phone to your insurer, endless paperwork and the nightmare of losing your No Claims Bonus.
Not to mention the fact some oxygen-thieving parasite is sat on a sofa, smoking a spliff and laughing at you because he just made £1000 in 30 seconds by nicking your pride and joy.
The thing is, with so many bikes not using any additional security, a lot of thieves will happily head out, without having to carry any tools and come home with a pristine motorcycle.
Yes, there are exceptions. We’ve all heard of a mate’s uncle who had thieves break into their garage, cut through multiple strong locks and chains and lift the bike over a car to steal it.
That does happen – but it’s rare.
In those instances, while you might have had decent security, the thieves had LOADS of time, which renders most security completely useless.
Most bikes are either lifted into a van or have their steering lock broken and then pushed away.
Gone in 20 seconds
A pair of bike thieves can be off with your bike in 20 seconds when it only has a steering lock fitted. So why would they want to break into a garage?
If they want it, you need to make them work for it, because most of the time, these lazy twats simply won’t want to put any effort in. They know there will be another bike around the corner
We have to stop this complacent attitude when it comes to motorcycle crime. Yes, the police haven’t helped us with their past policies but blaming them gets us nowhere in the here-and-now.
Stop perpetuating the myth that if they want it they’ll get it.
If you already use decent security, tell other bikers why they should do the same.
Spread the fact that more security reduces your chances of becoming a victim of motorcycle theft.
A decent disc lock (£30+) and a cover are sensible. Lock it to something – with a decent chain (14mm+) if you can.
By doing that you’ll eliminate 90% of bike thieves who just want to pinch a bike without needing tools, time or having to make a noise.
We could massively reduce bike crime to the point where the thieves go elsewhere if we stopped empowering these scummy c*nts by preaching myths as if they were unalterable fact.