Spot your stolen bike in this police gallery

Bike 7

The Met Police have uploaded a gallery with pictures of some of the 2,000 unclaimed bikes they stored across the capital. Have a flick through and see if you can spot your stolen bike!

The gallery is part of an announcement today that bike theft is down 11% across the capital, since October 2012.

This is the result of Project Cycle Ops, which is a collaboration between TfL, The Met Police, the British Transport Police and the City of London Police.

The 11% drop in realistic numbers means there are 2,000 less people who’ll have that horrible moment of returning to their bike, to find a broken lock on the floor and no bike in sight.

From October 2012, to the end of August 2013, 19,052 bikes were stolen. In the same period during 2012, 21,488 bikes were stolen.

See also: How to make your bike theft proof

The police have been using bike marking sessions, educating cyclists, high-visibility patrolling, surveillance and undercover policing.

During the course of Project Cycle Ops, police have security marked and registered over 40,000 bikes on

Cutting down on stolen bike sales on Gumtree

TfL and the police joined forces with BikeRegister on a marketing campaign aimed at encouraging people to get their bikes security marked and registered, and insist on proof of ownership and bike registration numbers before making a purchase. In addition, they worked with Gumtree, the UK’s number one online classified website, to help get this message out to the public; as a result, cycle security pop-up messages are now seen on the site by anyone looking to buy a bike, along with updated guidance and a dedicated cycle security blog.

Police have also worked behind the scenes with the site to catch the bike thieves in the act as they attempted to sell bikes and bike parts online – cutting off one of their marketplaces and making it much more difficult for criminals to make money from this kind of crime.

11% drop is a good start

The cracking down on stolen bike sales on Gumtree, the police marking sessions and the tactics used to reduce this crime are all very positive.

I’m sure I’d be reporting more impressive numbers today, if the sentencing for serial bike thieves was harsher.

Bikes remain an easy and profitable target for thieves. Cyclists have a role in bringing these numbers down. For a start, everyone should have their bike registered on which is free. You should also either buy their marking kit or head down to one of the police marking sessions.

Here are the next few sessions:

  • 15th October 2013 – John Lewis, Victoria Street junction with Carlisle Place, SW1P
  • 16th October 2013 – 10-1pm – Carshalton College Sutton, SM5 2EJ
  • 18th October 2013 – 7.30am – 6.30pm – Kings Mews, junction with Theobalds Road, Camden
  • 29th October 2013 – 7.45-10am – outside Belsize Park Underground Station, Haverstock Hill Camden

You should also follow our tips on locking your bike and our guide to the best bike locks.

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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

10 Responses to Spot your stolen bike in this police gallery

  1. MJ Ray 10/10/2013 at 10:46 pm #

    Bike register is free except for giving your personal data to a private company that reserves the right to spam you in future. This register should be run by a charity or the police.

  2. Mik 11/10/2013 at 9:13 am #

    Is there a way to just look at the bikes? The link takes you to 45 pages of general photos (unless I’m being daft) and the bike specific set only has 31 in it which is a bit shy of 2000…

    • Andreas 11/10/2013 at 1:43 pm #

      I might have misread the press release… I believe they have 2000 bikes in storage which are unclaimed by their owners. The way it was phrased I thought they’d uploaded pictures of all the bikes they have unclaimed. Perhaps its a gradual thing?

  3. Nick Donnelly 11/10/2013 at 11:02 am #

    A database of brand / model etc – that we can search – would be far better than this – good step though it is – no one has time to sit through 2000 bikes all totally different to the one they lost…

    Maybe that could be a side project for london cyclist – imagine the publicity etc 😉

  4. Stolen Ride 14/10/2013 at 8:22 pm #

    Good to see a 11% drop.

    Come support our community! Join us on Twitter —> or view all the latest stolen bikes from London on We need you!

  5. Shawn Gossman 18/10/2013 at 12:21 am #

    I think resources like this are just wonderful. 🙂 I think more and more communities all around the world should add resources like this to their city websites so cyclists can find their stolen bikes. Stealing my bike would be like stealing my car! I spent quite a bit on it so I’d be very upset, haha! Great post!

  6. John Moss (Stolen Bikes UK) 29/10/2013 at 11:08 am #

    The 11% drop is misleading.

    Having worked with victims of theft the general feeling they have is that the Met does nothing when you report your bike as stolen and doesn’t care, so they don’t report any future thefts.

    Which in itself causes a drop in figures, it’s something I’m keen to address as getting people reporting to the police is important if only to keep the figures rising, so it’s taken more seriously.

  7. Jon 30/10/2013 at 12:56 pm #

    Oh terrific. The police have 2,000+ bikes in storage and only put up photos of 35 – not catalogued or otherwise searchable. Would it not help to tag the photos??

    In my experience the police are “criminally” negligent when dealing with recovered bikes. If you know they should have a bike (because you handed it in as abandoned) and you claim it after 30 days they tell you that they no longer have it – they sold it or gave it away. When you kick up a fuss (write to the Chief Super) they go and magically find it under a pile of other bikes. Gives no confidence that they’ll treat other crimes any differently. They’d much rather that you don’t involve them, thank you.

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