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New statistics show how few motorcycle thefts result in action

Published: 30 January 2019

Updated: 30 January 2019

New figures have revealed the size of the motorcycle theft problem in London and how little of it ends in police action being taken. From January 2015 to October 2018, over 45,000 motorcycle or moped thefts were reported in the capital but only 1200 people were ever charged with an offence.

A further 70 merely accepted a caution. This means that over 31,000 investigations were closed with no suspects identified.


The new figures have emerged following a Freedom of Information request submitted by an MCN reader who was unhappy with the way the case of their stolen BMW GS was handled by the police. Despite extensive CCTV covering the area, he was unable to access the footage due to data protection laws so his theft joined the other 31,000 unsolved cases.

It also raises questions about if the London bike theft problem is being tackled effectively. London’s Metropolitan Police have repeatedly claimed their methods have proved successful, particularly in moped-related crime which has fallen significantly.

In fact, Nick Hurd MP, Minister for Policing, has even set up a task force to repeat these tactics nationwide. However, moped/scooter- related crime, such as theft of a phone while moped/scooter-mounted, is very different to moped theft which barely seems to have gone down.

Over 800 bikes a month were stolen up to October last year, so assuming the same rate continued, 2018 will have seen over 10,000 stolen bikes, fewer than 2017 but the same as 2015, when 10,200 were stolen.

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