A month-by-month break down of three years of bike thefts* in the Leith area shows both a seasonal pattern to bike thefts – and a huge disparity in total numbers between some parts of Leith and others.
Greener Leith obtained the data from Police Scotland using Freedom of Information legislation to request statistics on the total number of bike thefts each month across the seven ‘beats’ that roughly cover the Leith Neighbourhood Partnership area.
Hopefully the map below, also obtained via FOI, will help you to work out which ‘beat’ you live in.
A whopping 270 bikes have been stolen in the area around Great Junction Street, Constitution Street and Leith Links, or as Police Scotland call it “NL27,” in the last three years.
By contrast, if you live around Pirniehill, the Leith Links colonies and the northern end of Lochend Road, or “NL28” in Police speak, then there were far fewer bike crimes. During the same period 39 bikes were stolen.
Turning to the time-line, excepting a huge spike in thefts in March 2012, when 72 bikes were stolen in 31 days in the area, the timeline shows that there is a seasonal, as well as geographic, variation in the number of bikes stolen across the area, with annual peaks in around April and the largest peak in August-September.
Conversely there are far fewer thefts in the winter months.
The timeline chart also suggest that the trend in bike thefts is upwards. In 2012, there were 321 bike thefts. In 2013, this dipped slightly to 303, but in 2014, there were 418 bikes stolen in Leith.
During this time, cycling has become more popular in the city, so these statistics may simply follow the numbers of bikes on the streets that are available to steal.
Nevertheless, no-one will be pleased about the increase in thefts.
If you live in a high risk area, or you’re going shopping in the Kirkgate in August, you’ll be particularly keen to protect your bike against theft.
Here’s a video that shows you how to lock your bike up when you are out and about.
And if you’re concerned about the security of your bike at home, you may be interested in this old, but nevertheless very useful document produced by SPOKES that explores your options for keeping your bike secure if you live in a tenement.
Photo: Ivy Mike | CC | https://flic.kr/p/jrx3T
*Data shows number of “reports of bike thefts.” Some of the reports may have involved the theft of more than one bike, so these figures are likely to underestimate the total number of bikes stolen.