Bicycle theft

Approximately 6 per cent of households stated that they were exposed to bicycle theft during 2015. In 2016, 65,300 bicycle thefts were reported, which is a decrease of 2 per cent as compared with the preceding year. Bicycle theft is one of the most common property offences.

Percentage exposed to bicycle theft

Number of households exposed to bicycle theft, 2006 – 2015. Source: SCS

In the Swedish Crime Survey (Nationella trygghetsundersökningen) (NTU), 6.3 per cent of households stated that they were exposed to bicycle theft in 2015, which corresponds to 270,000 households in Sweden. This is roughly the same level as in 2014, when 6.1 per cent of households were exposed. Between 2006 and 2011, the number of exposed households remained relatively stable. In 2012, the number declined somewhat and has, since then, been stable at a somewhat lower level.

Victimisation of different groups in respect of bicycle theft

Persons who live in multiple dwelling blocks are exposed to bicycle theft to a greater extent (7.8%) as compared with those who live in detached or semi-detached dwellings (4.6%). Households with children are exposed to bicycle theft to a greater extent than households without children. To a certain extent this is probably explained by the fact that households with children generally own more bicycles per household, which in turn increases the risk of bicycle theft. Exposure to bicycle theft is greatest in the major metropolitan areas (6.4%) and in other large cities (7.8%) and lowest in small towns and rural areas (4.2%).

Circumstances surrounding bicycle theft

Households which were exposed to bicycle theft are asked to answer a question regarding the type of place from which the bicycle was stolen. In most cases (57%), the bicycle was stolen from a public place. In other cases, the bicycle was stolen from a basement or a storage structure (14%) or from some other private place (28%).

Reported bicycle thefts

Number of reported stolen bicycles 2007–2016. Source: Reported offences

Reported offences

In 2016, 65,300 bicycle thefts were reported, which is a 2 per cent decrease as compared with the preceding year. The number of reported bicycle thefts was at an even level between 2007 and 2009, but has varied since 2010. The level in 2016 was somewhat lower as compared with the level ten years ago (-3 %).

Cleared bicycle thefts

Person-based clearance rate² for bicycle theft, 2007 – 2016. Source: Processed offences

Processed offences

Most bicycle thefts remain uncleared, since there is seldom an identified suspected person. In 2016, roughly 300 bicycle thefts had person-based clearances. This yielded a person-based clearance rate² of 0 per cent.

In 2016, 65,500 bicycle thefts were processed¹. Investigation was commenced for 5.5 per cent (3,500) of the processed theft and taking and driving away offences, while the majority, 61,900), were dismissed with no investigation.

Persons suspected of bicycle theft

Number of persons suspected of bicycle theft, 2006 – 2015. Source: Persons suspected of offences

Persons suspected of offences

In 2016, there were 950 persons suspected of bicycle theft, which is a 17 per cent reduction as compared with the preceding year. The number of persons suspected of the offence has decreased by over 10 per cent since 2007.

Convictions

Since bicycle theft is not a specific legal category, it is not possible to isolate the number of persons who were found guilty of bicycle theft from the statistic.

Bicycle theft among young people

According to the School Survey on Crime 2015, 16 per cent of the boys, and 14 per cent of the girls , in the ninth year stated that they have had a bicycle stolen at least once in the last twelve months.

¹) The statistic for processed offences reports the number of reported offences where the police, public prosecutor, or other investigatory authority has taken a decision regarding the offence.

²) Person-based clearance means that a person suspected of the offence has been tied to the offence through an indictment, the issuance of a summary sanction order, or the issuance of a waiver of prosecution.

  • The person-based clearance rate reports the number of offences with person-based clearances during one year as a percentage of the number of processed offences during the same year. As from 2014, an adjusted person-based clearance rate is reported. The metric is essentially structured in the same way as previously, however, it is calculated based on all processed offences instead of all reported offences.

  • The conviction rate reports the number of person-based clearances during one year as a per cent of all investigated offences, excluding offences with limitations of investigation during the same period.