THE areas where bicycle thefts in Darlington have been reported has been mapped.

Data has revealed where every bicycle theft has been reported in and around the town this year.

With people being encouraged to cycle more following the coronavirus outbreak, knowing where to keep your bicycle safe is vital. 

And the best place to start is to avoid hotspots.

Official data reveals there has been 56 reported incidents involving bicycle theft in Darlington between January and June 2020. 

Below, we've mapped the locations and hotspots of every bicycle theft in the town (just scroll on the map to see your area).

More than one bicycle theft crime may have been committed in areas listed below.

The data shows areas on or near a further/higher educational building, High Northgate and Milbank Road, have seen more than one bicycle theft.

How to keep your bicycle safe

Durham Police has issued a handy guide to help keep your bicycle yours and no-one elses!

1. Get a decent lock

When you consider the cost of your bike and the inconvenience of losing it, why save a few pounds on a lock? Look for a lock which is at least Silver, but preferably a GOLD standard "Sold Secure" rated lock. Consider using two locks - especially if your bike is pricey - and use different types , as thieves are rarely equipped to break two types of lock.

2. Get it SPOKED

Operation Spoke is a bike marking and registration scheme. You can get your bike marked and registered by Durham Police or any Cycle Shop in County Durham or Darlington; or an organised cycle marking event. Once marked your bike is registered on the Immobilise and/or BikeRegister Database. If your bike is expensive we recommend the BikeRegister component marking system for your bike (available at Cycle Shops in County Durham).

Durham Police check bikes all the time to see if they are registered with Operation Spoke.  

3. Lock your bike EVERY time you leave it 

It only takes a second to steal an unlocked bike. Don't give thieves the chance to steal your bike.

Use extension cables to secure valuable components such as suspension forks, wheels and the saddle.

4. Lock your bike to something solid.

Don't just lock your bike "to itself". Secure it to a solid, unbreakable object. Do this if you leave your bike in the street, or at home in a shed or garage. 

5. Lock all of the bike.

Make sure that you lock and secure the frame and both wheels. Consider extra extension cables to secure the wheels as well as the frame. Good locks deter thieves.

6. Quick release - quickly gone...

Many bikes have quick release parts such as seat and wheels. Lock them or change them if possible. If you get your bike marked on Operation SPOKE all your bike parts will be marked as well.

7. Lock it somewhere visible and busy.

Thieves like a bit of peace and quiet to do their dirty work, so leave your bike in a busy, visible location, and remember to lock it securely.

8. Take extra care in towns.

Most thieves operate in towns and cities. AVOID LEAVING YOUR BIKE OUT OVERNIGHT. Use at least two locks and ideally a Gold standard 'Sold Secure' D-lock and additional cable lock.

9. Secure your bike indoors.

It should be the safest place, but is your shed or garage really secure? You should invest in a shed alarm and a shed bar to further secure your shed or garage. You should also lock your bike to something solid such as a floor or wall anchor. Make sure the lock is a Gold Standard 'Sold Secure' one if you can.

10. Be vigilant.

Help combat crime by reporting suspicious activity to Durham Police on 101.