Some 199 cycle thefts are reported to the Danish police every day with only very few of the thieves being caught. In 2010, only 277 sentences were handed down, a mere 0.39 per cent of the 71,928 thefts.
Overall, a survey of bicycle thefts from 2007 to 2010 shows that a bicycle is stolen every eight minutes in Denmark, not including the thefts that are not reported to the police authorities.
“Bicycle thieves have an open road. There’s no point in reporting it to the police,” says Bicycle Association Communications Chief Frits Bredal, who says sentences should be much heavier for cycle theft, particularly those carried out by organised crime.
“The percentage of those caught is not good enough. There’s no doubt that it could be better,” says Insurance and Pension Trade Organisation Consultant Riccardo Krogh Pescatori.
In particular Pescatori is looking for a more targeted approach to organised crime bicycle thieves who are often foreign gangs who take stolen bikes across borders to sell them on.
According to the organisation some 63,587 cycle thefts were claimed from insurance companies last year, with average compensation at DKK3,902 per bicycle or in all some DKK248 million in 2011.