SINGAPORE - There was an average of 100 bicycles stolen each month over the past three years, according to the police.
Statistics provided by the police show there were a total of 1,221 bicycle theft cases last year, compared to 1,222 such thefts in 2012 and 1137 of these cases in 2011.
The number of such thefts fell from 630 in the first half of last year to 588 in the same period this year however, partly due to greater policing efforts.
But with the number of bicycle thefts still high, the police and the National Crime Prevention Council on Sunday launched nine new anti-theft bicycle bays islandwide, with plans for three more such bays by the end of the year.
Currently, the police step up patrols at areas where there is a high incidence of bicycle thefts to detect and deter such cases. The police also produce public education materials such as posters, pamphlets and newspaper advertisements to remind the public to adopt appropriate crime prevention measures.
Beyond enforcement and education, the police said they also work with partners and stakeholders. For instance, they work with dormitory operators to conduct bicycle labelling exercises in foreign worker dormitories.
The new bicycle bays, which were launched on Sunday, are located in neighbourhoods such as Hougang and Punggol, and at Velocity@NovenaSquare and the Pasir Ris Sports & Recreation Centre. The facilities are designed to deter theft by allowing the cyclist to lock the frame and both wheels of the bicycle to the rack.
Besides securing bicycles to permanent structures such as a bicycle rack, the police advised cyclists to park their bicycles in public places with high human traffic and preferably with CCTV monitoring.
Cyclists should also make permanent identification marks such as engravings on their bicycles and affix a bicycle security label, which is issued free of charge by Neighbourhood Police Centres, on the body of their bicycles. These labels come with a unique serial number and help the police to identify stolen bicycles.
Bicycle owners can also register their bicycle security labels with online cycling community Togoparts at www.togoparts.com/bike-label. The database run by Togoparts allows cyclists to track bicycle ownership and screen if a bicycle registered online has been marked as stolen or missing.
When not in use, the police advised cyclists to keep their bicycles at home.
Members of the public can also refer to the following police advisory on safeguarding their bicycles: http://www.police.gov.sg/advisories/tob.html