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Tallinn starts a bike theft prevention campaign in cooperation with the police

Tallinn starts a bike theft prevention campaign in cooperation with the police

The City of Tallinn and the Police and Border Guard Board are starting the ‘Lock or Lose’ information campaign, the purpose of which is to prevent bicycle theft and raise people's awareness in avoiding becoming a victim of theft. The police organised a similar campaign a couple of years ago and this year, Tallinn will be joining it as well.

Deputy Mayor Tiit Terik noted that in recent years, the development of convenient bicycle infrastructure has become one of Tallinn’s focus topics, which is also stipulated in the development strategy Tallinn 2035. "In addition to the construction of the main network of bicycle paths, we have initiated various supports and measures to increase residents’ use of bicycles in their daily movement,” said Terik. “For example, we have built or supported the building of significantly more bicycle parks and storage facilities near schools and apartment buildings. This, in turn, makes it necessary to pay more attention to the topic of safe keeping and storage of bicycles, which we will do together with the police."

544 bicycle thefts were registered in Tallinn in 2021 and 440 in 2022. Although the number of bike thefts has decreased by 19% in a comparison of the last two years, it is still important to raise people's awareness about the possibility of becoming a victim of theft.

Kaido Atspol, an investigator of the East-Harju police station in the Northern Prefecture, said that from the police's point of view, raising people’s awareness and preventative activities are the most important measures in preventing bicycle theft. "Bicycle owners can do a lot themselves to avoid becoming a victim of theft – a thief must not be given the opportunity to steal,” said Atspol. “Bikes must not be left unlocked and a secure lock must be used. The storage room where the bicycle is stored must not be easily accessible to outsiders and the bike must be locked there as well.”

“Investigating thefts is the responsibility of the police, but everyone can contribute to prevention activities,” added the deputy mayor. “A prevention specialist started working in the municipal police and we have high hopes for them reaching schoolchildren, since according to the police, schools are where bike thefts occur most often. Locking bicycles is one of the topics we talk about at information events held in schools. Municipal police involves bike shops and apartment associations in preventive activities as well."

During the prevention campaign, we remind you that in the event of a recent theft, you should definitely notify the police by calling the emergency number 112, by going to the nearest police station or through the website www.politsei.ee. The police must also be informed if the victim of theft has home or bicycle insurance or if you notice a stolen bicycle being sold.

As a preventive measure, bicycle owners should keep all purchase documents, take photos of the bike and add special features or write a number on the frame. It is important to purchase a secure bicycle lock and always lock the bike. It is also worth doing it in seemingly safe places, such as a basement or garage. The police are sometimes notified of situations where the victim doesn’t discover until spring that their bike is missing from the basement.

Information related to the ‘Lock or Lose’ campaign and information on the project ‘Bike to School’ supporting the purchase of bicycles for schoolchildren can be found on the website www.tallinn.ee/linnaratas.