Police warning to Harrogate cyclists after huge spike in cycle thefts this year

Cyclists in Nidderdale
Cyclists in Nidderdale
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Harrogate cyclists have been warned to take greater protection of their bikes following a 98 per cent increase in cycle thefts this year.

Figures presented by the Safer Harrogate District Community Safety Group showed that cycle theft had risen from 65 incidents last year to 129 up to October 2016.

The increase mirrors a national problem but Superintendent Paula Booth stressed that the number of thefts in Harrogate remained low compared to the national average.

However, Supt Booth warned that owners must starting taking greater protection over their bikes as their value continues to increase.

She said: “The actual reality of the number of crimes in Harrogate is very low. Recording processes have changed so there’s an upward rise but I don’t think there’s been a change in the reality of crime.

“The one crime trend in Harrogate that has changed, and it’s in line with national issues, is the bicycle thefts. On the face of it some people may think it’s only bicycles.

“But actually, bicycles are peoples mode of transport, has an impact on your lifestyle, it’s an inconvenience and some bikes are 20 grand’s worth.

“A lot of the crimes we get recorded, people will just leave their bike, nip into the shop and it’s gone. So there’s something about people needing to be more guarded.

“In one way it’s nice because people think it’s safe to leave their bike and they haven’t got a disproportionate fear of crime but the sad reality is you still need to lock your bike. Even in Harrogate which is a really safe town.”

In May this year, police issued a warning and carried out extra patrols after six cycle thefts were reported in the town centre in as many days.

Officers warned the thefts occurred across all times of day and night and cycles of a value ranging from a few pounds to a few thousand pounds were targeted.

Supt Booth said the increase in cycle thefts follows the rise in popularity of the sport, as a result of events including the Tour de France and the Tour de Yorkshire.

More people than ever are taking up the sport and spending increased amount of money on top-of-the-range bikes.

At Harrogate bike shop Chevin Cycles, prices range from around £250 for an adult’s bike up to £11,500 for their most expensive bike.