Data from the Home Office shows 687 bike thefts were reported to Wiltshire Police in the year leading up to March 2023 – with just 23 (3.3 per cent) resulting in a charge or summons to court.

The most recent police data indicates that 54 bike thefts were reported in Wiltshire in August 2023, of which 32 remain under investigation.

The other 22 cases have been closed, with no suspect identified.

The area that sees the most bike theft is Swindon, with the majority occurring near the centre of the town.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Most bike theft occurs in densely populated areas.Most bike theft occurs in densely populated areas. (Image: Google &
Locations surrounding the Brunel Shopping Centre, central Travelodge and Orbital Shopping Park are more affected than others.

The crime stretches out to the outskirts of the town too though, to Cricklade and Wanborough.

Salisbury also reported numerous thefts in August; two occurred close to each other in the centre, on Silver Street.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: The outskirts of Salisbury were also affected in August.The outskirts of Salisbury were also affected in August. (Image: Google &
Rural areas don’t seem to be safe either, with a theft occurring between the villages of Edington and Coulston, as well as in Larkhill.

In Chippenham, a theft was reported near the Tesco Express on Old Road.

In Trowbridge, someone had their bike stolen between St Thomas’ Church and Timbrell Street; another reported a theft on Hill Street.

In Melksham, a theft was reported on a more residential street, among the houses of Foxglove Close, and in Warminster, a bike was targeted just off the B3414.

Wiltshire Police advise to contact them as soon as possible after a bike theft, by calling 101 or reporting online.

They add: “Give us your frame number, cycle database number, a photo and any other details and make sure you update the status on the cycle database where you registered it.

“The sooner we know, the sooner we can act, which might stop it being sold on.”

The police recommend using two quality locks, at least one of which is a D-lock, when securing bikes.
They also advise registering frame numbers on a national bike registration database.

The frame number can usually be found underneath the bike between the pedals or where the back wheel slots in.

Registering a bike means that if it is ever stolen and found by the police, it can be returned to its owner.