Data on the number of bicycles stolen are not very exact at the national level in the Netherlands. The number of reports of bicycle thefts by itself is no accurate measure, as the majority of thefts is never reported. The size of the problem may best be judged from ‘victim-interviews’; each year a random selection of inhabitants is asked whether they have been victims of certain types of crime. See Size of bicycle theft and Police monitor (Politiemonitor). In recent years facts on the main locations for bicycle theft have been affirmed (own residence, town centre and train station, mainly) and the effects of theft have become more apparent: fear of theft is a large deterrent to the purchase of a new bicycle and also strongly affects bicycle use to certain destinations. See New facts on theft (Nieuwe feiten over diefstal) and Barrels for fear of theft.
Size of bicycle theft
Data on the number of bicycles stolen annually in the Netherlands, from 1985 to 2000.
Old crocks for fear of theft
In the bicycle theft campaign, the Dutch Cyclists Association surveyed 4300 people. For 43 percent, fear of theft is a reason not to buy a new bicycle; for 45 percent it is a reason to sometimes leave the bicycle at home.