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Motorcycle Thefts Falling

Two pieces of good news – not only are motorcycle thefts falling but the proportion of bikes being recovered is on the up. Figures from the Motorcycle Crime Reduction Group reveal that 9492 powered two-wheelers were stolen in January-May 2023, 2.6% down the same period in 2022. That doesn’t sound much, but May was the third successive month which saw a decrease in thefts. Of those stolen, 58% were motorcycles and 42% classed as scooters or quad bikes.

These national figures masked a wide variation across the UK. London – with more PTWs (Powered two Wheelers) than anywhere else in the country – always sees the most motorcycle crime, but thefts in the capital fell by 16.4% in Jan-May 2023, compared to the previous year. In Greater Manchester, thefts plummeted by 24.9% and it was a similar story in Hampshire and Kent.

Although many other police forces reported an increase in thefts (21.5% in Avon and Somerset, for example) this wasn’t enough to prevent the national average from falling.

Meanwhile, the proportion of bikes and scooters recovered reached nearly 6000 in Jan-May, an increase of 7.4% over last year. Of course, as one police spokesman pointed out, the recovered bike could be crashed, burnt out or written off, but it would still be recovered. Tracking devices are thought to increase a bike’s chance of recovery significantly.

Jim Freeman, Chair of the BMF, said: “That’s good news. I know of a number of people in or near London, who long ago gave up on having ‘nice’ bikes because of theft. After a couple of high value theft losses, and the likely effect on insurance, it’s easy to understand why. Then they’ve had to contend with the ULEZ conforming. As one said to me, ‘you can’t win!’”

Written by Peter Henshaw

Top image courtesy of Peter Henshaw