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Motorcycle Action Group challenges ‘unreliable’ theft data

The Motorcycle Action Group is pushing for more complete and accurate theft data from police forces

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THE Motorcycle Action Group is putting its foot down in the fight against motorcycle crime and is asking all police forces to provide a clear and accurate image of bike theft in the country.

To compile its National Police Force Bike Theft Rankings, the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) used freedom of information requests to try and compile the clearest image of motorcycle crime in the UK possible. The hope is that highlighting forces that are effectively tackling motorcycle crime and theft can help others in the fight against it.

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Fighting an uphill battle with bike crime is to be expected, fighting that battle with the police forces themselves is a little surprising to say the least. MAG’s Colin Brown said that some of the data handed to MAG was inaccurate and, in some cases, forces simply refused to provide the information requested.

Winners and losers in motorcycle crime theft rankings

Of those forces that did submit the information requested, the results make for some interesting reading. London unsurprisingly still ranks as the highest risk area for motorcycle crime, with 69 bikes stolen out of each 1,000 registered. Gwent was one of the biggest movers, albeit in the wrong direction, leading from 14 to 35 bikes pinched out of every 1,000 registered.

Northumbria is the safest place in the UK for bike owners looking to avoid motorcycle thefts, with just a single bike stolen per 1,000 registered – ironically it is also a region with some of the best roads in the country!

2020/2021 marked the second year Greater Manchester Police failed to provide any motorcycle theft data to add to the survey. And it wasn’t just that force, MAG concluded there were ‘significant holes’ in the data from Manchester, Scotland, Hampshire and Thames Valley police forces.

Speaking of the report, Motorcycle Action Group's Colin Brown, said:

“It is a source of great frustration that data for the most basic of questions is unreliable.  Accurate reporting is vital to understand any type of crime. The number of reported thefts should be a figure that is easy for any force to report accurately.  Yet we see forces issuing figures and then claiming they are wrong, as well as a handful of forces that simply refuse to provide any data whatsoever. We started this process to help everyone understand the issue more fully.  Our plan was to provide more detailed information as the process developed.  Sadly, we are still unable to do the most basic level of analysis comprehensively.”