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Bicycle Security, Safety and Training

Free adult cycle training and maintenance

Registering your bike

  • When stolen pedal cycles are recovered it is often difficult for Police Officers to race them back to their original owners.  Take a photograph and keep a note of the make, model and serial number.
  • It is recommended that you register your bike here https://www.bikeregister.com/signup
  • Bike register is a FREE bicycle registration database. It is used by Greater Manchester Police and other forces to reunite stolen bicycles to their rightful owners. You can register your bicycle with a serial number and upload a photograph.

Bike Security 

  • In the UK a bicycle is stolen every minute and less than 5% of those are returned to their owners! Research consistently shows that most of those stolen are not locked properly. Take a look at this video for quick and simple advice on Bike Security....
  • Greater Manchester Police have produced a series of ‘60 Second Security’ videos on simple security advice. They provide easy step-by-step tips, including advice on products and how to install and use them, helping to make you and your property that little bit safer.


Greater Manchester Police's PC Nigel Morris gives a few simple tips to help keep bikes safe and secure

Lock It or Lose It

  • Greater Manchester Police has been successful in reducing the level of cycle theft in recent years.  We are committed to continuing this downward trend but we can only do so with your help.  Cyclists often make it easy for a thief to steal their bike by locking them inadequately or leaving them insecure.  In the UK, a bicycle is stolen every minute and less than 5% are returned to their owners. 
  • Some locks may look robust, but are mostly made up of a thick layer of plastic with a thin metal core – easy for a cycle thief to twist off or to cut through.
  • You should look for a lock with a ‘Sold Secure’ rating of Bronze, Silver or Gold.  Gold rated means that it has been tested against attack and offers the highest level of security.
  • It is essential that you have a good quality lock for your bike.  You should look to spend at least 10% of the value of your bike on a lock.
  • If you can, use two locks of different types to deter thieves.

Types Of Lock

At one of GMP's bike marking events

  • D Locks: These are rigid locks in a D or U shape, generally very heavy and tough-looking. The cost ranges from around £20-£80.  Many come with a mounting bracket so that you can attach your lock to your bike frame whilst riding.
  • Fill as much of the space within the D lock as possible.  Try to fit the stand, the rim of one of the wheels and the frame into the D. The more space you fill the less space there will be for a thief to insert a bar or jack to lever the lock.  It is best to angle the lock so that the opening is facing down.
  • Cable Locks: Cable locks can vary in weight and strength. They are more flexible so can be used in situations where a D lock might not fit, but thinner, cheaper versions are very easy to cut through. However, thicker cable locks can be very secure.

Where to park your bike

  • Plan ahead and check out amenities in the places you need to leave your bike.
  • Look for secure, immovable cycle parking. Make sure the parking is bolted securely or embedded into the ground.
  • It should be possible for you to lock both your frame and your wheels to the stand; ‘D’ or ‘U’ shaped ‘Sheffield’ stands will allow you to do this.
  • Parking that only allows your front wheel to be locked should be avoided as thieves can remove your front wheel and make off with the rest of your bike.

At home

  • When locking your bike in a shed or garage use an anchor point which either bolts directly to the floor/wall or can be installed into concrete. Invest in a shed or garage alarm, available from DIY Retailers.
  • Never leave your bike outside in a rear yard or garden, unless you have a cycle anchor or another secure object to secure it to.

Insure your bike

  • Add a standard cycle to your home contents insurance, ensuring it is covered for theft outside of your home. More valuable cycles should be insured separately.

Reporting suspicious incidents

Suspicious behaviour could be:

  • A neighbour who has a large number of bikes in his possession
  • A van on the street containing a number of bikes or having bikes put into it
  • A person hovering and watching over the racks, or attempting to break or cut a lock
  • Someone carrying a bike with only one wheel
  • Someone selling large quantities of bikes, offering them very cheaply or with no reason why they are offloading them

If you have any information on who might be stealing or handling stolen bikes then please contact your local Neighbourhood Policing Team on 101 or if you would prefer to remain anonymous contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

© Greater Manchester Police 2019