Originally Posted by CBS
At the moment bicycle theft is a huge problem in Denmark. People forget to lock their bicycles or decide not to lock them thoroughly, because it is too much of a hassle.
First of all, if bicycle theft was truly a huge problem, people would not forget to lock their bikes or be too lazy to do it. Because those who did that would only be able to do that once... after which they'll have no more bike.
It is our impression, that most locks currently on the market are either:
- Quick and easy - hence easy to break
- Acceptable safe and secure – consequently time consuming, complex and expensive.
I do not think so. I think the biggest problem is weight: in order for a lock to be secure, it has to be heavy. Cyclists don't like to transport heavy things. However, should be less of a problem in Denmark, where people ride generally heavy and often loaded bikes, and adding a few more pounds hardly makes a difference. And unfortunately even the most expensive locks do not eliminate the problem of vandalism or component theft.
I also think that increasing lock security is not the way to go if you want to solve bike theft problem. The way to do it is to start treating like a real crime. I don't know how the situation is in Denmark, but I suspect it is somewhat similar to Toronto. If you steal a bike here, the police won't even bother looking for you at all, and thus will never catch you. And even if you, by some miracle, do get caught, you'll probably end up with a slap on a wrist: maybe a fine or something, certainly no jail time. (There was one famous exception to this: a well-known Toronto bike thief finally nabbed and awaiting trial. It's great that the police actually did something about him, but he was truly infamous, had thousands and thousands of bikes in warehouses across town. And his trial isn't over yet; he may very well be dealt a slap on a wrist too, if not entirely acquitted.)
There should be a combination of:
- stiffer penalties for theft (perhaps even specifically bicycle theft)
- proactive enforcment of the law that makes bike theft a high-risk activity
- good locks and good locking places
Optional and affordable insurance against theft would be good, but I don't know how workable that idea is. An interesting idea is some kind of a satellite tracking device, but it would have to have minimum power consumption (so that a set of batteries can last a long time, like for a digital watch) and be accessible (so that batteries can be switched or other maintenance be performed). And then thieves will learn how to access it and disable it.