One in Six Give up Cycling in Dublin as a Result of Bike Theft, Finds Survey of 1,500 People

A survey by Dublin Cycling Campaign shows that one in 6 people who have had a bicycle stolen do not return to cycling, and a further 26% reduce their cycling habits as a result of theft. It is estimated that 20,000+ bikes are stolen annually in Dublin alone, a 100% increase since 2008. This could mean that over 3,000 people stop cycling each year in Dublin due to bike theft, and possibly a further 5,000 reduce the amount they cycle as a result of bike theft.

“We will continue to lose large numbers of cyclists if we don’t tackle the growing problem of bicycle theft. A co-ordinated, multi-agency plan to tackle bicycle theft is required if we are to reach the Government target of 10% of journeys by bicycle by 2020” says Keith Byrne, chairperson of Dublin Cycling Campaign.

Over 1500 people completed the December 2014 online survey, which is part of a wider campaign by Dublin Cycling Campaign to tackle bicycle theft.

The main findings are:
• Bike theft hotspots are Trinity College, St Stephens Gn./South King St, Georges St, South William St, Drury St., Connolly Station, Smithfield/North King St, North Princes St, Parnell St, Rathmines Rd.
• The most common locations for bicycle theft, in descending order of frequency, are car parks, homes and streets.
• Over half of the people, (55%), who had bikes stolen either hadn`t locked the bike at all or had a totally inadequate lock such as a cable lock.
• Only 4% of people who had a bike stolen recovered the bike.
• Only 15% of bike theft victims had their bikes insured.

“We were surprised by some of these results but not by others” says David Timoney, one of Dublin Cycling Campaign’s researchers. “Like most people we assumed that the street was the most risky place to leave your bike, not car parks or at home. This type of data is very useful however and will help us work with An Garda Síochána and Dublin City Council to deal with the specific nature of the problem in Dublin.”

Dublin Cycling Campaign is calling for a multi-pronged approach along the lines of the successful “Project Cycle Ops” in London, a partnership between London Police, Transport for London and the Mayor`s Office which succeeded in reversing the upward trend in bike theft.

What is needed for Dublin is:
• The establishment of a ‘working group’ coordinated by Dublin City Council to develop and pilot a scheme to reduce bike theft in the city.
• In the longer term, the establishment of a state co-ordinating body on bike theft, to drive forward an agreed strategy, which reduces bike theft.
• A big increase in secure bicycle parking throughout Dublin.
• More action by An Garda Síochána to detect and deter bicycle theft.
• A tighter code of practice for buyers and sellers of second hand bikes on-line.
• More responsibility taken by cyclists through buying better locks, recording the bike serial number, not buying stolen bikes and always reporting stolen bikes to An Garda Síochána.

The full results of the bicycle theft survey, including an overview of the hotspots for bike theft in Dublin, will be presented at a public meeting at 8pm on 9th February, in the Central Hotel, Exchequer St, Dublin 2.…


Dublin Cycling Campaign is an independent voluntary group lobbying government for 20+ years to bring about improved conditions for cyclists and greater recognition of the benefits of cycling ( We are the largest member group of - The Irish Cycling Advocacy Network (, itself the member for Ireland of the European Cyclists’ Federation (


For further information contact:

Mike McKillen, mike[at] 087 2314 613
David Timoney, davidtimoney[at], 083 333 9283
Muireann O’Dea muireann.odea[at] 086 179 1128

A full presentation of the survey results is available in the attached PDF document.

Press release

Friday, 6 February 2015 (All day)

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