NEW data shows that the number of bike thefts in Winchester has fallen since 2022.

The information, published on the Cycle Winchester website, has been taken from the crime data for Hampshire and from British Transport Police for the 12 months in 2023, and compared with the same period in 2022.

It shows that there has been a 40 per cent reduction in thefts in Winchester in 2023, with 104 reported bike thefts in 2023 compared to 170 in 2022.

However, this is still the equivalent to two bike thefts per week.

Hampshire Chronicle: Bikes at Winchester StationBikes at Winchester Station (Image: Adele Bouchard)

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The data also shows that in the Hampshire Police area, bike theft fell by a third in 2023, with 19,173 cases last year compared to 28,821 in 2022. Thefts from Winchester Station have also dropped from 59 in 2022 to 33 in 2023.

The data shows that the hotspots for bike thefts in Winchester are the station, city centre, outside of Royal Hampshire County Hospital and at Winchester Sports and Leisure Centre in Bar End.

A Cycle Winchester spokesperson said: “We welcome the fall in bike theft rates and that the chance of losing a bike is lower than it was last year - but the theft rate in Winchester remains high and needs to fall further. We continue to remind riders to be careful where they park in Winchester to and use good bike locks. There is guidance on the Cycle Winchester website for cyclists parking in Winchester.

“We would like an explanation from the Police and Crime Commissioner as to why Hampshire & IOW Police is apparently performing so poorly relative to other forces when it comes to bike thefts. The data suggests that there is plenty of room for improvement. We have contacted the PCC but have not yet received a reply.

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“We should remember that losing a bike can have a big impact on users as it may be their only form of transport. Inevitably some bikes will not be insured, and their owners may struggle to replace them. In particular, this can affect young adults. Bike theft is not a trivial offence.

“The station is still the best place to have a bike stolen and we need to see some effective action from SWR to update facilities there. At the moment we don't even know if there is a plan to do anything. Likewise, let’s get on with the work to allow the bike racks below the trees to be used again.”

The data can be viewed on the Cycle Winchester website.