OXFORD has been ranked as one of the worst places in the UK for bike thefts.

The city has come in third place, just behind Cambridge and the capital.

New research has concluded that the high numbers of students in these areas are likely to contribute to the figures, with campus buildings lined with chained-up wheels.

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The figures, based on official data from Police.uk, compare 351 police forces over the last 12 months.

They showed that 104,768 reports had been made in total, with our cycling city responsible for 1,990 of those.

According to Police.uk in May 2019, the latest set of data available, 81 reports of bike thefts were made to police in Oxford Central.

In the same month last year, only 70 reports were made.

Over the course of the year in Oxford Central, from June 2018 until May 2019, 860 reports were made in total.

Read again: 70 per cent of crime is not solved in Oxford

Oxford is the third worst in the UK but is narrowly followed by Newport, Chichester and Warwick in the overall rankings.

Insurance provider Yellow Jersey worked alongside the British Transport Police to reveal some of the statistics in a supporting study.

Oxford Mail:

Superintendent Mark Cleland, national lead for cycle crime, said: “We are currently working with our partners across the UK on a number of initiatives that will contribute to reducing cycle crime.”

He explained that cyclists can help themselves by buying high-tech bicycle locks.

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He added: “Prevention is always better than cure and so it’s really important that cyclists consider how they can reduce the risk of becoming a victim of cycle crime by considering using the best rated ‘secured by design’ locks, how those locks are used and what they are locked to.

“Understanding where cycle crime happens will also help inform cyclists as to where best to secure their property and of course making sure there is insurance in place helps if the worst happens.

Oxford Mail:

“Don’t forget that by registering your bike, if it is lost or stolen, there is a greater chance of it being recovered.”

The study found that a quarter of bike owners in the South East had had their cycle stolen and 44 per cent of people know somebody who had been a victim of bike crime.

Read again: CCTV footage of bike thefts released

Of those, whose bike has been taken, seven in 10 never get it back.

One in 10 who did say that their bike was in an unusable condition.

The study also revealed that the average cost of a bike is £257.40, which unsurprisingly leads to 72 per cent of people having been affected financially.

Another quarter of those questioned said that their bike was stolen from their garden, while 12 per cent had it taken from a locked garage or outside shed.

One in 10 say they found their bike pinched from a bike shed at a train station and the same number say they have seen their stolen wheels riding around the local area.

Only eight per cent said they had seen it dumped somewhere.