'Invest in a better lock' warns bike group as thefts in the city skyrocket by 163pc
Invest in a better lock or you may end up having to buy a new bike. That was the message at the launch of a new bike theft prevention campaign in Dublin yesterday.
A Bike Theft Working Group set up through Dublin City Council has warned that cyclists need to use better locks, and to lock their bikes when at home, to avoid being victims of bike theft.
The group say almost 100 bikes were stolen every week last year in the capital.
But, despite the alarmingly high number of thefts, experts warn that cyclists are using sub-standard locks.
A Dublin Cycling Campaign survey from December 2014 showed that 66pc of bikes stolen in Dublin are locked using cable locks, sub-standard U-locks or chain locks that can be easily cut and that offer limited security.
The Bike Theft Group recommends that cyclists use U-locks with the 'Sold Secure' accreditation as their main lock, with cable or chain and padlocks only to be used as a secondary lock. 'Sold Secure' is an independent rating system for locks.
Speaking at yesterday's event Dublin Lord Mayor Criona Ni Dhalaigh said the aim of the campaign is to raise awareness and alert cyclists to the need to use higher quality locks.
"It is vital that cycling is supported and encouraged in the city, and a big part of this is to reduce bike theft," she said.
Some 4,950 bikes were reported stolen in Dublin in 2014, an increase of 164pc, or 3,077, since 2008 - the year before the Bike to Work scheme was introduced.
The working group was set up earlier this year to tackle the growing problem of theft in the city. It has representatives from An Garda Siochana, the National Transport Authority, Dublin Cycling Campaign, bike shops and Dublin City Council.
"London and Amsterdam, in particular, have had great success in reducing bike theft in recent years and, with all stakeholders working together through this Bike Theft Group, we aim to achieve the same in Dublin," says Councillor Ciaran Cuffe, who chairs the group.
Inspector Liam Geraghty said: "An Garda Siochana supports the continued increase in bicycle use in Dublin City.
"Targeting bike theft is a three-pronged approach: education, engineering and enforcement.
"This poster campaign will inform bicycle users on crime prevention through the need to invest in high-quality locks and show how to lock their bicycle securely at all times.
"We in An Garda Siochana continue to focus on bicycle theft with targeted intelligence-led activity."
Earlier this year gardai launched a new pilot scheme, using 'undercover bikes' to bait thieves into trying to steal them.