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UK public transport fears, due the the Coronavirus pandemic, have prompted many people to seek other ways to get around including bicycles, e-bikes, scooters and motorcycles. Used car dealers are also reporting record sales since social distancing rules have been relaxed and people are keen to get back to work, but less keen to do so on buses and trains. Although the government announced that “anybody may use public transport” they are still encouraging people to use alternative means wherever possible and they have specifically urged people to consider walking and cycling.
In April 2020, during the peak of the pandemic, UK bicycle sales increased by a massive 60%. But this growth has been accompanied by a significant and worrying escalation in bicycle theft with insurers warning that claims have recently jumped up by 46%.
Motorcycles and motor scooters are also attracting the attention of criminals. Around 40,000 to 50,000 motorbikes are stolen in the UK every year and around 3% of motorcyclists will unfortunately experience the pain of having their valued motorbikes stolen. A survey by the National Crime Intelligence Service (NCIS), based on the latest police figures on vehicle crime and performance bikes (500cc and above), revealed that more motorbikes are stolen in the UK than are bought new and it takes, on average, just 20 seconds for a thief to steal a motorcycle worth £10,000.
It’s worth noting that many bicycles are stolen directly from the sheds and garages in which they are stored. And a high percentage of motorbikes are stolen from right outside owners’ homes.
These statistics highlight the urgent need to pay attention to security, especially at home. It has been noted that although motorcycle owners may use a variety of security precautions when parking on main roads away from their homes, many leave their valuable motorbikes unsecured when at home - and experienced thieves know this.
Sold Secure was formed back in 1992 by a number of police authorities, with help and backing from the Home Office. The primary aim was to establish some consistency in the testing and assessment of security products. Sold Secure is now administered and run by the Master Locksmiths Association (MLA).
Many security product manufacturers rigorously assess and test their product to their own testing specifications. But Sold Secure is an independent test house, dedicated to reducing the risk of theft by independently testing and assessing security products.
The testing techniques and methods used by Sold Secure are entirely based upon up to date information derived directly from police constabularies, insurers and other bodies who have insight into the continuously evolving tactics and tools used by modern-day thieves. This vital information ensures that Sold Secure test specifications always reflect a realistic representation of the risks faced in the real world.
A good example of how Sold Secure test specifications evolve and change in response to market needs is the announcement they made in their Sold Secure 2020 Approved Products Catalogue of a new Diamond level for their SS104 specification for Mechanical Security Systems for Bicycles. They have noted the growth in popularity of e-bikes and, due to their value, a higher level of security than Gold was required so they announced the launch of this new Diamond level in 2020.
Sold Secure independently test and evaluate a wide range of security products. Here are some of the product categories for which Sold Secure test specifications are defined.
Once a product has gained Sold Secure approval status it’s eligible to display the relevant Sold Secure logo, indicating the approval rating.
Sold Secure uses a vast range of test specifications, devised specifically for the type of security product under test. The specifications are based on the types of attack which are most applicable along with the tools used. Products of higher value, such as caravans, are subjected to tougher tests than lower value products.
There are four Sold Secure approval ratings levels, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Diamond. But the Diamond level doesn’t currently apply to all products.
A good example of how these rating levels apply and how Sold Secure is continuously evolving and developing their evaluation strategies is their ‘Bicycles’ standard which has recently been expanded to include the new, higher grade level of Diamond. Here’s how the security levels break down for Bicycles:
If you are one of the many thousands in the UK who have recently invested in an alternative mode of transport, maybe a bicycle, e-bike, scooter or motorbike, then it should be clear that you need to pay attention to security if you want to avoid becoming a crime statistic.
The general rule-of-thumb when considering security precautions is to allocate approximately 10% of the item value to be spent on security. So if you have treated yourself to a wonderful new £5K e-bike then you should definitely allocate around £500 to make it secure.
As noted earlier in this post, most bike thefts and motorbike thefts occur at home. People often store their valuable bicycles in sheds, garages or purpose designed bike storage pods. But thieves know that once they get inside one of these storage locations it’s unlikely they will face any further security hurdles.
This is why it’s important to pay attention to every layer of security around your valuables including your exterior lighting, alarms, CCTV systems, movement detectors, locks on doors along with window security. It’s beneficial to install a tough ground anchor inside your bicycle storage location and then lock your bike to the anchor using a high security padlock and chain. If thieves have managed to penetrate your storage security they are unikely to get much further when they find your bike securely attached to an immovable anchor.
Similarly, when securing a valuable motorbike or scooter at home, don’t scrimp on security. If your motorbike is worth £10K then you should be prepared to spend around £1K on security.
Ideally, your valuable motorbike should be stored out of sight in a secure locked environment. And as recommended for bikes (and other valuables) it should be securely chained to a high quality, robust, immovable ground anchor as well as being immobilised.
When evaluating various security products, including hasps, padlocks and chains, always look for the Sold Secure logo and go for products which have the most appropriate security ratings for what you need.
For example for tough but lightweight bicycle security on the move take a look at our Sold Secure Gold Bicycle Carry Chain Set. This lightweight, portable but strong chainset will protect your bike from most thieves when away from home.
To secure your valuable motorbike or scooter at home take a look at our Squire SS100CS Padlock with a 22mm 1.5metre chain bundle that’s achieved Sold Secure Diamond for Motorcycles rating. While this padlock and chain set is optimal for use at home it’s too heavy to carry around.
As previously recommended - don’t overlook the need for an immovable ground anchor so that you can lock your motorbike in place. Our TORC Sold Secure Motorcycle Diamond Ground Anchor has been developed specifically to foil modernday motorcycle thieves equipped with formidable, portable power tools.
Also, take a look at the Sold Secure approved products in our store that you can use to beef up every layer of security around your home to protect your valuables.
If you have any questions regarding how to secure your bikes or motorbikes both at home and on the move - give us a call on 01273 475500 and we’ll provide you with free, expert advice.
This message was added on Thursday 23rd July 2020
Need Help or Advice?
Call the Insight team
01273 475 500