Bike theft in the Netherlands has dropped, but the losses remain high

Bike theft in the Netherlands has dropped, but the losses remain high

Bicycle theft in the Netherlands is on the decline, but the financial costs remain high. Why? Thieves are increasingly targeting more expensive models, such as racing bikes and electric bikes. 

2019 saw fewer bikes stolen

Researchers from Bureau Beake investigated bicycle theft in the Netherlands on behalf of S.A.F.E Nederland (a foundation tackling (e-)bike theft in the Netherlands). Their report cites figures from Statistics Netherlands (CBS), showing that in 2019 466.560 people in the Netherlands fell victim to bike theft. In 2016, there were 645.240 victims.  

The researchers estimate the financial cost of bike thefts is around 600 million euros per year. Their report shows this cost does not align with the downward trend in the number of bike thefts. This is because more and more thieves and gangs are targeting bikes of higher value, for example racing bikes, electric bikes, and bakfietsen

Organised gangs from Eastern Europe

According to Bureau Beake’s research, bicycle theft is increasingly committed by organised gangs, who regularly come from Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Serbia, or Albania. These gangs then often take the bikes back to their home country, or alternatively transport them to France. 

S.A.F.E chairman, Jeroen Snijders Blok, would like to see more done to tackle bike crime in the Netherlands, saying the Dutch police give no priority to bicycle theft. The foundation would like to deploy technical resources, such as track-and-trace systems, to make it easier to follow up and solve bike thefts.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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