OUTSIDE the city centre, Oxford cyclists are most likely to have bikes stolen in St Clement’s and Summertown, new figures show.

It has also emerged that just four per cent of bike thefts in Oxford have been solved by police.

Police said it was difficult to reunite bikes with owners, which affected the detection rates.

Sgt Matthew Sulley said the number of St Clement’s thefts reflected its high student population and type of accommodation.

The city centre unit officer said: “People live in flats and terraced houses, so they cannot lock bikes in sheds or garages. They leave them in the garden or bike racks.”

The third worst place to leave a cycle was Summertown, with 179 thefts, figures released under a Freedom of Information Act request by the Oxford Mail show.

Sgt Sulley said: “We recover an awful lot, but it is getting them back to their owners. They cannot identify their bikes.

“They have not recorded the frame number.”

Only thefts where police identify the owner can be added to detection figures, meaning just 79 out of 2,023 were solved in 2010/11 and 30 out of 2,137 the year before.

Sgt Sulley urged owners to lock bikes to an immovable object with a D lock, record frame numbers and register bikes at immobilise.com.

Engineer John Paul Doyle’s £450 bike was taken from Oxford Brookes University’s Headington sports centre in June, despite a £60 lock. CCTV footage showed the thief took about 20 seconds to steal it.

Mr Doyle, of Reliance Way, East Oxford, said: “It was taken as quick as I took to lock it.”

Rowan Tilley’s bike trailer was taken from the front garden of her Percy Street, home last year, while chained to a tree. The 53-year-old said: “They just cut through it.”

  • A new website aims to get bikes back. My Bike’s Been Nicked in Oxford! will have Twitter and online appeals. Founder Brian Griffiths acted after his was taken from his Canal Street, Jericho, home.

Go to the website mybikesbeennickedoxfordtumblr.com