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Examining the latest report on bike thefts

Published: 11 November 2001

Updated: 19 November 2014

Bikes worth £3 million are being stolen in the UK every MONTH. Honda’s CBR600 is the most popular for crooks and just 16 per cent of those motorcycles swiped are recovered.

These were the worrying statistics which attracted headlines on TV and in national newspapers last week. They came out of a new report from the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS), which also revealed that:

London has the highest level of bike crime.

Northern Ireland has the lowest level of theft.

August has a slightly higher level of theft than the other summer months

Criminals often operate by setting up a legitimate business as a front for their activities.

The press was quick to jump on the statistics and they gave some vital publicity to the issue. But MCN has already revealed much of this information in the last few months and the rest of it came as no real surprise.

So we went one step farther and talked to the man responsible for the report, as well as leading industry figures, to find out how they plan to use this information to stop your bike becoming a statistic.

At 10 pages, the report is on the thin side and the NCIS admits it needs more time to draw firmer conclusions. But it’s a start.

It is the first in a series of quarterly documents highlighting theft statistics around the UK for machines over 500cc. It is all part of Project Contrail, a crackdown on vehicle crime funded by the Home Office, and covers July, August and September 2001.

The aim, according to the NCIS, is to identify theft hotspots and developing trends and provide intelligence for the police forces to swoop. If the report is correct, they need all the help they can get, because it also claims some forces don’t keep accurate crime records or make a distinction between bike and car thefts.

The man responsible for the figures is Steve Powell, project leader for NCIS’s Organised Vehicle Crime Service. He’s also a policeman and an ex-motorcyclist and he talked exclusively to us about how the information he compiles will cut bike crime in Britain and stop you becoming a victim.

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