This article will appear on the Cycle Winchester website in the next few weeks. It has general advice as well as Winchester specific information.
See the Cycle Winchester website for recent coverage of thefts in Winchester.
These reports are now a little out of date - police crime data records 6 bikes taken from WSLC and 16 from the railway station in October.
Bike security and theft reporting in Winchester – A guide.
We will never stop a well equipped and determined thief from taking our bikes. But we can make it more difficult.
- Investing in a good lock as a deterrent (although this may only slow professional thieves or divert them to an easier target). Locks do not last forever – replace when tired.
- SolidSecure Gold rated locks can be bought from £25 on line and £30 from Halfords. These are typically D-Locks.
- o Diamond rated locks “provide the highest level of security, aimed at very high value bicycles and e-bikes.”
- o Gold rated locks “offer the next highest level of security, aimed at mid-to-high value bicycles.”
Examples of locks and guidance can be found here thebestbikelock.com. The Solid Secure website is not easy to navigate!
- Lock your bike to something solid in well-lit areas preferably with a high footfall and CCTV – although don’t rely on the presence of CCTV. These tend not to be monitored in real time but can provide evidence in the event of a theft.
- Lock the frame and both wheels to the stand. Make the lock and cycle hard to manoeuvre by securing the cycle as close as possible to the rack. Make sure locks cannot come into contact with the ground.
- Secure your bike at home. Thefts from sheds and garages are quite common.
- If your e-bike has a removable computer, remove it when not in use.
- Register you bike with “Bike Register” – its free although there is a fee if you want a sticker for the bike. This will improve the chances of recovering a bike. Not too effective if the bike has been stolen for its components.
- Photograph your bike – highlighting any features that would help identify it such as paint scratches.
- Report thefts (and attempted thefts) to the police – more reports might trigger some action.
- Report suspicious activities – especially around bike racks.
Reporting bike thefts and CCTV review in Winchester.
Report your theft to the police on 101 or online. You’ll need to do this to claim on insurance and more reports can trigger wider action. Hampshire has third lowest rate of identifying bike theft suspects in England.
Do your own detective work. Ask for CCTV recordings to be reviewed (if there is coverage); the police rarely investigate these cases unless they have evidence. You will need to work out who to contact for CCTV coverage. However it is likely to be Winchester City Council around town, but also the hospital, university, railway station etc if the theft was from their property.
See https://www.winchester.gov.uk/parking/cctv. You can ask for CCTV review as a member of the public. Note the list of cameras on this website is a couple of years old and the online application is friendlier than the paper form.
Thefts from Winchester Sports and Leisure Centre.
In addition to reporting your theft to the police you may also report the theft to WSLC reception and ask them to review the CCTV recording; this review probably won’t be done unless you ask. WSLC will pass evidence to police. The cameras covering the parking at WSLC are run by Winchester City Council but WSLC have access to them.
Thefts from Winchester Railway Station.
Thefts should be reported to the British Transport Police (101 or online) and the station staff should be able to give advice too. You can ask that the CCTV recordings to be reviewed; however they will be reluctant to review many hours of recordings. This is unfortunate as most users a going to leave their bikes for many hours – but it’s worth a go and probably won’t happen unless you ask.