2020 was the year a pandemic took over the world. Many things happened as a consequence of the Corona virus: Many businesses, for the first time, had all their staff working from home, scientists developed vaccines faster than ever before. And, according to an Ipso MRBI poll conducted between February and May 2020 the number of people out cycling rose by 51 per cent to 510,000. Research carried out by AIB showed bike sales increased by 49 per cent last May and by 70 per cent in June.
While many people were out cycling and becoming healthier as a potentially life-threatening illness took hold of the planet bike thefts also boomed for the first time in 2 years – jumping by 46 per cent in Dublin last June and increasing by 40 per cent nationally.
4,365 bikes were reported stolen in 2017, 4,000 were reported stolen in 2018, a rate of more than 10 every day. 3,929 bike thefts were reported in Dublin in 2019. Of these, just 286 – about 7 per cent – were recovered. While bike theft was on a downward trend David Timoney of the Dublin Cycling Campaign still asserts that it was unacceptably high.
The true number of stolen bikes is around three times the reported figure, according to findings by the Central Statistic Office, through its crime and victimization surveys.David Timoney – Dublin Cycling Campaign
According to Mr. Timoney this is not just due to a growth in opportunistic bike crime but also a lack of governmental actions to protect against it.
Particularly in apartment blocks, the standard of bike racks is really poor, it means even if you have a good lock, it is easy to steal the bike, because many racks are effectively useless. Even in some of the new-build developments, the standard of bike racks is really poor – it is an after-thought.
The finger of blame needs to be pointed at the planners in the council, because they don’t insist on proper-quality bike racks. It is a quite simple solution.
He goes on to say that once someone has had a bicycle stolen, they are statistically less likely to purchase another.
It is reducing the number of people cycling in the city. Some people just don’t persist – perhaps they were trying out cycling again after a long period away from it, and they get their bike stolen.
So, if 12,000 bikes are stolen in Dublin annually, one in six is 2,000 people – we are probably losing 2,000 cyclists every year.
New figures obtained by The Irish Times show bike thefts increased by 7 per cent in the first nine months of 2020 despite the Republic practically shutting down due to Covid-19 and every other property-related crime plummeting.
Do you cycle in Dublin and have you ever had your bike stolen? Did you report it to the Gardai and if so what was your experience? Let us know in the comments below.