If you love it, log it

Top tips for protecting your bicycle:

  • Register your bike for free with Bike Register, the UK’s only police-approved cycle database. This will help police to find it if it gets stolen.
  • Take a photo of your bike and keep it with the insurance details. Make a note of the make, model and serial number.
  • When parking away from home make sure your bike is locked to a heavy-duty piece of street furniture and where possible with the lock or chain off the floor; and leave it in a well-lit place ideally with CCTV
  • Make sure the lock you use is independently tested (e.g. Sold Secure approved), the correct size and difficult for thieves to access to break it.
  • At home, lock bicycles in a secure garage or shed if you have one, using a good quality U-lock or chain and padlock to a ground anchor. Consider using two different types of security devices, as often tools to attack one type of device aren’t so applicable to others.
  • Mark your bicycle frame with your postcode in two separate locations if possible, one of which should be hidden.
  • Insure your bike if it is high value
  • Remove accessories such as lights when the bike is left. Consider a quick-release saddle that you can take away with you, to make it less tempting to ride the bike away
  • Make sure quick-release wheels are securely locked
  • Fit a hidden tracker 


  • show your bike on social media – it could be targeted by thieves
  • use a locking device that can be cut through easily and quickly
  • lock or lean your bike against railings, signposts, lamp columns, street signs, trees and tree guards, sides of bus shelters
  • leave your bike in the same predictable place
  • leave your bike in communal hallways


It is worth reporting to the police – many bikes are found but can’t be reunited with their owners. ACT FAST: call 101 or report online with frame number, cycle database number, a photo and any other details. Make sure you update the status on the cycle database where you registered it – the sooner the better to help stop it from being sold on.

We recommend you buy your second-hand bike from a shop or direct from the manufacturer online. If you do buy from another person, you need to be careful of possible stolen bikes. Find the frame serial number and check Bike Register online. Questions to ask if buying second-hand (to stop thieves re-selling):

  • How long have you owned the bike?
  • Have you got the receipt?
  • Has the bike been serviced or had work done?

Further useful information can be found on these sites

For more information please download this leaflet produced by Oxford Neighbourhood Watch in partnership with Science Together and Oxford University.