Newcastle University Security claim that an average of two or three bikes a week are being stolen from university campus.
Cycling is considered by many university students and staff members to be the best way to get around as it is quick, cheap and environmentally friendly. However, according to a survey taken last year, Newcastle has the seventh highest rate of bike theft out of the UK’s top thirty universities, and according to Shed Coultard, the Estates Security Manager here at Newcastle University, this continues to be a significant issue.
“Most bike thieves carry bolt cutters which can cut through flexible locks quite easily. We have found that thieves usually leave bikes with heavy D-Locks alone, however, there have been one or two cases where D-Locks have been defeated too.”
According to Shed, bike thieves are even coming onto campus dressed like students to avoid suspicion and “bringing inferior bikes to swap with expensive ones”.
“On CCTV cameras they look like legitimate students.” He explained. “It is only when they cut the lock (that) they are identified... a typical theft can take less than five seconds.” He added that when thieves fail to cut bike locks, they are stealing other parts left such as lights and wheels.
As this is an alarming issue for many students and staff members, the university is taking precautions in an attempt to prevent property from being stolen.
“The university has put on extra patrols and we give five hundred D-Locks away for free at the beginning of each academic year. We have suggested to the Student Union that they purchase quality D-Locks and sell them at the SU shop. We are working with the police to look at ways of catching those responsible. The security team have made a number of arrests but there are a few thieves out there.”