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Scooter theft in London is on the rise, increasing by 50% in the last two years alone. As a result, the Met Police has launched its new Be Safe campaign, to help scooter owners deter thieves in the first place; as we know, prevention is better than cure.

As if scooter theft itself wasn’t a big enough problem, a lot of stolen machines then go on to be used in other crimes, whether that’s the theft of bags and mobile phones, or bigger ram-raid jobs on jewellers or even bike dealerships.

The initiative was launched in June by commissioner Cressida Dick, with the overarching message that the more visible your security, the more invisible the bike is to thieves; thieves are targeting machines with no or minimal security, scooters that can easily be wheeled away or loaded into vans. But the harder it is for criminals to break your scooter or motorcycle free, the more likely it is that they won’t even try.

The Met Police is spreading the message and trying to increase vigilance with a series of measures and activities, that include the promotion of videos highlighting the problem (view one, here) as well as visible materials in parking bays and on public transport.

Graphics are being displayed in motorcycle parking displays across the capital to reinforce the message to riders, while swing tags are being attached to parked scooters without security and in dealerships. The force is also paying to target ads online at scooter owners, and working with CBT providers and insurance brokers to spread the message about the rise in scooter crime and how to prevent it.

Advice being passed to owners includes tips on security chains, such as ensuring your bike is chained to an immovable object if possible, and where it’s not, try and loop the chain through the back wheel and the frame to make it as difficult as possible for thieves. There are also effective tracking devices on the market too, for added peace of mind.

So if you live, work, or ride in London, or any other major city, be aware, and ensure you are securing your scooter or motorcycle as best as you possibly can, even if you’re away from it for just a short period of time. And if you see someone who isn’t, make them aware of the risks, too.

For more information on the Be Safe campaign, click here.