Thieves want to steal your bike – here’s a handy guide to stopping them doing so

  • Rises in bicylce theft have been ocurring at Man Met 
  • High value bicycles targeted by thieves
  • Officials recommend using D-locks to secure bikes

A spate of bicycle thefts on campus at Man Met has brought a warning from the university’s security team and police alike.

Students and staff are being warned by security to take extra care of the bikes – especially high value ones. 

The police have offered advice to cyclists on how they can keep their bike safe on campus:

Register your bicycle

Before you do anything else register your bicycle on the National Cycle Database. Once you have added it to the database, you will also find other useful services you can make use of. You can check the level of bicycle crime in your area or report your bicycle stolen.

Find a good spot

When locking up your bicycle you should look to leave it in a busy public space. It is a safe bet that campus will be filled with students, staff or other members of the public during the day. If your bike is left at night however, you should make sure it is in a well-lit area where people may occasionally be passing by and in the view of a CCTV camera. 

Between the Manchester and Cheshire campuses, MMU boasts more than 1,300 cycle spaces. These include stands for short term use and secured cycle shelters for longer term storage. More information can be found on the university’s website.

Secured Cycle Shelter on campus
One of MMU’s cycle shelters

Which locks to use

There are several types of locks on the market. The university security team recommends the use of D-Locks which can be bought directly from at a discounted price of £10. Most commercially sold D-Locks will cost around £30-£40 so this is extremely good value for money. 

D Lock in use
MMU recommends the use of D-locks to secure bikes

Anthony Neary, MD of home security retailer agrees with the security team, adding: “Ensure locks are ‘sold secure’ approved – this is often a requirement from bike insurers. Gold-rated locks are the most secure.” 

Superintendent David Pester, of Greater Manchester Police, said: “On a national level, university districts are a high risk for bike theft and we would encourage students to invest in good quality bike locks as offenders will quickly remove lighter weight locks with bolt croppers.”

Extra measures 

In some cases criminals have taken to using small car jacks to prise D Locks open so they should be used alongside other security measures.

Mr Neary suggested using chains or cable locks as wellas D-locks: “Secure the locks between the front and rear tyres, the bike’s frame and the rack you’re securing it to. Thieves won’t always carry tools to break multiple types of locks.”

D lock and cable in use
Police recommend using multiple locks to secure bikes

He also advised that locks should be secured off the ground as they are easier to break off if they are hammered against the floor.

Keep your eye out

Look out for jammed keyholes – thieves often do this to prevent the owner from unlocking their bicycle and then return later once there are fewer potential witnesses. 

What is being done?

Supt Pester acknowledged the issue was a concern for police: “We treat any kind of theft or robbery very seriously, and bike thefts are no different.

D lock prised open by a car jack
D-locks have been prised open, often by carjacks

“I would like to reassure the students of MMU and surrounding areas that we are doing all we can to prevent criminals from taking advantage; we are working closely with relevant partners including all three universities and councils. We also have officers on dedicated patrols across the area as part of the Student Safe campaign.”

Report it

If you have been the victim of a bicycle theft make sure you report it to the police. You can do this by calling 101, via LiveChat on Greater Manchester Police’s website or calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. If you find yourself in an emergency, call 999.