According to statistics from the Federal Police, 26,714 cases of bicycle theft were reported to the police in 2022, an average of 73 thefts per day. In the first quarter of 2023, we are already at 13,386. In question is the increase in the use of bicycles in the kingdom and a certain impunity for theft offenders. In fact, the number of bikes reported stolen is estimated to be about a third of the reality, says Pro Velo.
If the risk of your bicycle going missing during the day is increasing, the question of how to secure your bicycle seriously arises.
It’s a great classic, no one leaves their bike on the street without at least one lock attached, however, even with this protection, the risk of theft is high. “Let’s first remember that the purpose of a lock is to delay theft as much as possible,” Pro Velo explains. “A heavy, good-quality padlock, preferably U-shaped or “carpenter’s scale”, is best. Two different types are recommended, especially in high-risk areas,” they add.
Faced with increasingly sophisticated thieves, cheap locks can secure your bike for only a few seconds. You can count on a label to ensure you’re armed against thieves. “There is an ART label that is frequently requested by bicycle insurers,” says Pro Vélo. In addition, some companies test locks by evaluating the techniques of thieves like the best bike lock.
However, this protection is primary.
In Belgium, especially in Brussels, we see the growth of “bike boxes”. “The offer is growing slowly in Wallonia, especially in the big cities. SNCB partially follows the provision of safe parking at stations (although there is a very large difference in the Flemish situation)”, ASBL adds.
“New neighborhoods also have other types of secure parking, such as bicycle “garages”. Brussels also has the option of offering spaces to private companies to convert them into bicycle parking spaces through contracts for unoccupied spaces”.
In France, we are also looking at building security devices into terminals placed on the street. However, these solutions are often linked to a private operator (paid), can be used through an app or badge, and require authorization from the road manager to be installed.
According to Pro Vélo, this type of initiative has not yet been launched in Belgium. “The Brussels-Capital Region will launch a pilot project in its territory within a few months”, the ASBL notes.
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