Bikes popular target for thieves

20/11/2007 15:00

Last year, 760 thousand bikes were stolen in the Netherlands. One in twenty bike owners lost at least one bike to thieves. With one in seven, the bike theft rate is even higher among young people. The risk of having one’s bike stolen is three times as high in urbanised regions as in non-urbanised regions. Only three in every ten victims report bike theft to the police.

One in twenty bike owners victims of theft

Last year, 620 thousand Dutch residents lost at least one bike to thieves, making bikes the most popular target for thieves. Bikes are also a popular means of transport as nine in every ten over-15s in the Netherlands own a bike. This means that more than 5 percent of bike owners had their stolen.

Bike theft, 2006

Bike theft, 2006

Young people at higher risk of having their bikes stolen

Relatively many young people fell victim to bike theft; 15 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds. With 18 percent, the rate is even higher among students in this age category. Older people rarely fell victim to bike theft.

Bike theft rate most common in major cities

Bike theft was most frequent in very highly urbanised regions, where one in ten bike owners had suffered bike theft. In non-urbanised areas, the rate was three times as low.

Bike theft by urbanisation rate, 2006

Bike theft by urbanisation rate, 2006

Bike theft rate highest in west part of the country

Bike theft was most common in the western part of the Netherlands, where the major cities are situated. The bike theft rate was lowest in the southern part of the country.

Bike theft by part of the country, 2006

Bike theft by part of the country, 2006

Few report bike theft to the police

Only 30 percent of bike thefts were reported to the police. The main reasons for reporting to the police were retrieval (31 percent) and claiming compensation from the insurance company (29 percent).

Carin Reep