UK bike theft effectively ‘decriminalised’

bicycle theft

Bike theft has been described by an MP as effectively ‘decriminalised’ following news that 90 per cent of cases go unsolved, and only 2 per cent result in someone being charged.

Lib Dem home affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said the figures would leave cyclists ‘wondering if bike theft has been decriminalised’

Nobody knows for certain how many bicycles are stolen each year in the UK. Home Office data reveals 365,000 reported bike thefts have gone unsolved since 2019, but it’s accepted many more go unreported. Worse still, nobody seems to know how to tackle a crime compounded in recent years by the advent of the cordless angle grinder, and police who take little interest.

Bike registration schemes sound like a good idea, but the benefits are slim. After all, cars are identifiable by their registration plate, VIN number, serial numbers and the ECU and yet only about one in four stolen cars is reunited with its owner. And it’s wrong to assume stolen bikes remain within our borders. According to research in The Netherlands, bicycle theft is increasingly committed by organised gangs who export the bikes.

We know from personal experience how gut-wrenching it is to have a bicycle stolen. It’s the reason that 30 years ago we developed the UK’s first specialist cycle insurance policy.

How we’re different…

Efficient: Our online portal allows you to log your claim quickly and message our in-house team who will handle your claim from start to finish.

Equitable: We’re the only UK cycle insurance provider to offer a no-claims discount.

Environmentally conscious: We’re carbon neutral and actively campaign for safer streets

Ethical: We’ve worked hard for 30 years to build our reputation. We’re named the UK’s most ethical provider by The Good Shopping Guide, and Claims Team of the Year by Insurance Times.

Not insured with us yet? Get a quote now

The ethical choice

The ETA was established in 1990 as an ethical provider of green, reliable travel services. Over 30 years on, we continue to offer cycle insurance , breakdown cover and mobility scooter insurance while putting concern for the environment at the heart of all we do.

The Good Shopping Guide judges us to be the UK’s most ethical provider.

ETA cycle insurance no-claims discount


  1. John Fletcher


    It’s a vigilantes’ charter!

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