Name a sight that’s as equal parts funny and tragic as a bicycle plucked clean of all its essential parts and left on the street like a discarded post-Sunday lunch chicken carcass.
You’ll find these wheel-less, handlebar-less skeletons on many a street in London and there’s a good reason. London is the worst region in England and Wales for stolen bikes according to cycling insurer Bikmo, which studied police records to find out which areas in the country were ‘cycle crime hotspots’.
So, which London borough fares worst when it comes to bike thefts, I hear you ask? Well, that unenviable title goes to Tower Hamlets where, according to the data, no fewer than 1,784 bicycles were stolen in 2021.
The news only gets worse for east London, with Hackney experiencing 1,621 bike thefts – the second-highest figure among the London boroughs.
However, while Tower Hamlets has the highest number of bike thefts, the City of London had the worst number of thefts according to rate per 100,000, with 3,986 bikes stolen per 100,000 people in 2021. A figure apparently due to the area having a small population of residents but a high number of people who commute there for work on two wheels.
But, props to the fine residents of Croydon and Bexley, where the data recorded the lowest rates of bike thefts, coming in a 56 and 139 per 100,000 respectively. Maybe these south Londoners have invested in better bike locks or maybe they’re just kinder to each other: who knows? But if you own a bike and you live in Croydon, best give your fellow lycra-lovers in east London a few tips, eh?
Managed not to have your bike stolen? Check out these dreamy bike rides in and around London.
No bike? No problem. Pop yourself down in one of London’s best beer gardens instead.