The government is very keen to encourage the use of bicycles.

But many potential bicyclists are deterred by the extreme frequency of bicycle theft. The latter is increasing. The frequent thefts are also most inconvenient and distressing. More than a 100,000 bicycle thefts are reported to the police each year, but it is reckoned that only about a fifth of bicycle thefts are reported to the police. Thus the total annual figure is probably something like half a million. This is totally unacceptable, and efforts to should be made to reduce it.

One possibility is a specific offense of bicycle theft, with severe penalties.

There are almost certainly technical solutions which could reduce the problem. One suggested solution is that all bike frame numbers should be registered with the owner, and that anyone selling bikes should list the number. In suspicious circumstances, the police could also check a bicycle.

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