Bikes stolen in Cambridge would stretch to space

The number of bikes stolen in Cambridge since 2005 would stretch to the edge of space
Image credit: BazzaDaRambler

Boldly going where no bikes have been before, the number of bicycles stolen in Cambridge since 2005 would stretch into the stratosphere.

Taking an average length of 70 inches per bike, when laid wheel to wheel they would reach along the A14 from Cambridge to Huntingdon. If stacked vertically the stolen bikes would reach to almost the same height as Felix Baumgartner when he jumped from the edge of space.

In a city renowned for its two-wheeled transport, there are more bikes per head than anywhere else in the country. 17,555 of these have been stolen in the last nine years, reaching an estimated value of £4.2million.

The police run a number of operations to target bike crime. They have produced a video to show how easy it is for thieves to steal bikes and have plain-clothed officers patrolling the city.

These methods have seen some success, with police commissioner Sir Graham Bright noting a drop in reported bike thefts from 2,108 in 2012 to 1,984 last year.

Sir Graham has dedicated himself to the cause of reducing bike theft, which he said was “out of control”. He is currently attempting to improve bike security and commented that bike crime “will remain high on my agenda”.

However, this is merely the tip of the iceberg of bike thefts. Most bike thefts go unreported, so the actual number of stolen bikes is likely to be much higher.

Speaking to Cambridge News victim of cycle theft and Cambridge scientist Dr Lucas Joppa noted: “Most people in Cambridge don’t report it when their bike is stolen.”

Speaking to TCS, a Fitz CompSci, James McAulay noted that "It's a wheely big problem", whilst acknowledging that actually "the locks people use are generally weak" and that "people often just lock through the wheel, which is stupid."

A second year Caius historian granted that "I'm not at all surprised, bikes are everywhere and I'm sure it's not just students"

With the average bike costing well over £200, replacing a stolen bike comes at a serious cost for many students.

More succinctly, one retired Jesus academic suggested "Perhaps it's time to buy a horse instead"

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