The ‘Lock It or Lose It’ bike safety campaign was launched on 8 November by University of Edinburgh Security staff, together with the Students’ Association and Police Scotland, in order to lower the rate of bicycle thefts both on the University campus and across Edinburgh.
Edinburgh has the second highest reported bicycle theft in the UK after London, as reported by BikeRegister, the national cycle database. According to data published by Lothian and Borders Police, four bikes are stolen every day in Edinburgh.
Across Edinburgh some 1,534 bicycles were stolen in 2012, the highest amount being taken from Southside and Newington, with 254 stolen. 90 per cent of bicycle crimes are going unpunished, according to the LBP data.
The campaign places old bicycles painted fluorescent orange around the Central Area, attempting to draw the eye to the accompanying posters reminding cyclists to lock their bikes.
Speaking to The Student, James Broomfield, Security Operations Manager at the University of Edinburgh said: “We are keen to help students look after their property and to highlight sensible security measures.”
Broomfield went on to say that bike safety is very easy for students as long as they utilise the correct tools and tactics. “If the ‘Lock It or Lose It’ initiative can prevent a student from the upset that comes from losing their bike by simply using a good quality lock then this has been worthwhile,” he told The Student.
The University of Edinburgh Security Section recommends that bikes be attached to an immovable fixture with at least one D-shaped lock which should pass through the rear wheel and the main frame to provide maximum security.
They also suggest securing the front wheel and warn to avoid ‘cable’ style locks, due to the ease with which these can be cut through.
A further suggestion is to get your bike invisibly marked and registered on BikeRegister to help the Police identify it as yours in the event that it is recovered.
The Security Section will be holding free bicycle marking events on 17 November at the Chrystal Macmillan Building and also between 10 and 11:30 at the Informatics Forum. They will also be selling D-Locks from the same locations between 14:00 and 16:00 as well.
Speaking to The Student, Marie Evans, a third year undergraduate, spoke of her experience with bike theft, and how it affected her.
“When I was in first year I had my bike stolen from in front of the library. It was in the middle of the afternoon, in broad daylight.
“I always locked my bike up as a safety precaution but I never expected it to be stolen right on University property, in a very busy location,” Evans said.
“It really changed my outlook on keeping my property safe,” she continued: “after I got a new bike I bought a D-shaped lock, which are really the only type which keep your bike safe, as they can’t be clipped.
“Now that I have educated myself, I feel much more safe on campus and around the city, with or without my bike,” she said.
Evans also spoke about how pleased she was that the University was taking steps to educate the student body about the issue.
“I think what the University is doing is really important, she said.
“It will keep others like me from being preyed upon, and it will make our campus safer for everyone”, she told The Student.
Image: University of Edinburgh