Over 100 bicycles stolen every week this year

A cyclist keeps the rain off on Henry Street Dublin.

Sam Griffin

MORE than one hundred bicycles are stolen every week across the country, with three out of four thefts reported in Dublin.

Figures for the first six months of this year show some 2,639 bicycles have been reported stolen to gardai.

The number appears down on last year's total when just under 6,000 were reported stolen for the 12 months of 2013.

However theft levels in 2011 and 2012 look on course to be either equalled or exceeded. It is also believed the true scale of the problem is much greater, but in many instances goes unreported.

Dublin remains the crime capital for the practice with 75pc of all thefts reported here.

Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR) South Central recorded 570 stolen bicycles between January and June this year - the highest of any garda division in the country. Next was DMR North Central where 401 bicycles were snatched by opportunistic thieves. 289 were stolen in DMR Northern and 254 in DMR southern. Another 221 were reported stolen in the east of the county and 238 in the west.

Cork City was next with 108 stolen bicycles which appears down on last year's total figure of 260 for 2013. 96 were snatched in Galway and another 96 in Limerick.

Cork West and Roscommon/ Longford are the safest places in Ireland for bicycles with just three reported thefts up to June.

Gardai say a "proactive approach" is being applied in relation to bicycle theft and that analysis is conducted "to identify areas of high volume theft". They encourage bike-owners to register their bikes on bike registration schemes. One such scheme is operated by the website BikeRegister.ie which says there has been a 40pc increase in bicycle theft since 2008.

The group says very often gardai are unable to return bicycles to their owners as they haven't been registered.