As the number of people cycling in Cardiff grows, there are concerns about the rising number of bike thefts in the city.
Recent figures have shown that nearly four bikes are being stolen every day in the city and more than 6,000 thefts of cycles have been reported in the past four years.
One of the most recent bikes to be stolen belonged to charity fundraiser Jaylo Miles.
He has cycled across Wales on the bike to raise money for mental health charities and is devastated after it was stolen from his friend’s garage in Rhiwbina on Thursday afternoon.
“I was keeping it at my friend’s house because I thought it would be safe,” says Jaylo. “But he came back on Thursday evening to find they had broken into the garage and taken the bike and two scooters.
“Everyone I have spoken to has said there is a big problem with bike crime, especially as more people are cycling at the moment. The bike is tracked and coded, so hopefully it will turn up.
“The bike means a lot to me because it is my way of getting out and about and it is great for my mental health. I even have a name for it, Raymond. I am devastated that it has been taken and really hope it can be found.”
The coronavirus crisis has resulted people buying bikes in huge numbers, but there has also been an increase in thefts and insurers are warning that claims have leapt by 46% in recent weeks compared with last year.
In April in the UK , at the height of lockdown, the number of bikes sold rose by 60%. The biggest change was in those valued at £400 to £1,000, sales of which doubled.
A petition has been launched in Cardiff calling on the council to provide hangers where cyclists can store their bikes safely.
You can find that petition here.
The hangers, which are used in part of London, can store six bikes within half the space of a car parking bay, and is an effective way to store bikes whilst protecting them from tough weather conditions and vandalism.
Plaid Cymru members, who are supporting the @CdffCycleCity online petition, put in a Freedom of Information asking for recent figures.
They were told that in the year to the end of March 2020, there were 1,484 thefts, including 569 in the city centre, 245 in Cardiff Bay, 198 in Cathays, 168 in Canton, 86 in Fairwater, 79 in Roath, 51 in Llanishen, 29 in Llanedeyrn, 18 in Ely, 17 in St Mellons and 14 in Rumney.
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Ashley Drake, Cardiff North constituency communications officer and a keen cyclist, said: “During the lockdown there was a huge increase in the number of people taking up regular cycling.
“If that success is to continued, then it is vital that cyclists are able to store their machines safely when out-and-about.
“The figures revealed under the Freedom of Information Act show that more than four cycles are being stolen every day, so action is clearly needed to tackle and reduce this problem.
“Cardiff Council is gradually improving facilities for cyclists, so it needs to take the next step and provide security hangers for riders where they can leave their bikes safely. Similar schemes have proved very successful in other UK cities, including London.”
-- to www.walesonline.co.uk