The potential for bicycle theft reduction in Victoria and Australia

Criminology Research Council grant ; (19/84)

The report asserts that bicycle theft is a major problem. Over recent years in Victoria, reported bike thefts have averaged almost 12 000 per year. Very few thefts are cleared by police and only a small proportion of recovered bicycles are returned to owners.

A victim survey clearly indicated that bicycle owners require education on security measures, whilst an attempt to construct a profile on bicycle thieves was less successful through the inability to make contact with a sufficient number of offenders. The study provides carefully considered recommendations on measures to reduce theft rates and improve recovery rates with a bicycle registration scheme receiving high priority. As a result of this research, the following action was recommended:

  • a universal bicycle registration scheme be introduced;
  • increased community education regarding the theft problem and preventive measures;
  • the provision of a computerised data bank to monitor characteristics of bike theft and assist in property tracing;
  • development of strategies to bring about attitudinal changes in the community and amongst police;
  • commencement of a campaign to have all new bicycles sold with built in locks;
  • modification to SAA standard to include serial numbers on all new bicycles;
  • investigation into appropriate insurance schemes; and
  • close monitoring of theft records to assist in the apprehension of bike thieves.