Protecting your bike against theft

Bike thieves are known to operate around Edinburgh, including at University of Edinburgh sites. Here we are outline some of the steps you should take to protect your bike against theft, and the support the University provides to help with this.

There has been a small spate of bike thefts at the University recently. The Transport Office is working closely with University Security and Police Scotland to try to prevent bike thefts and to assist with police investigations.

If you are a bike owner there are some steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of theft. The basics are outlined below, and more information is available on our website.

Bike Parking

We provide bike stores around our campuses for staff and students to use. These add an additional layer of protection from theft, but we cannot guarantee the absolute security of bikes left inside.

Everyone who uses a bike store has a part to play in upholding the security of these facilities:

  • Always ensure the door is fully shut and locked behind you
  • Never let other people follow you in
  • Report all maintenance issues to so we can investigate and arrange repairs
  • Report suspicious activity to Security on 0131 650 2257
d lock securing a bike

Locking your bike - use a D-lock

Always use a suitable quality lock and secure it through the bike frame to an immoveable object. You can also use a second lock or cable to secure your wheels. Remove lights and other accessories.

A suitable quality lock will cost around 10% of the value of your bike. D-Locks are the strongest type of lock. You should not use a cheap cable lock, as these can be cut very easily.

The Transport & Parking Office sells D-Locks at a subsidised cost of just £21 (their RRP is £30-£40). The model we currently have in stock is the Squire Nevis. It has a Silver rating from Sold Secure. You can buy these online for collection from the University Estates Department (9-11 Infirmary Street) during opening hours, or on campus at Doctor Bike events.

bike register label

Register and insure your bike

Register your bike for free on You can also mark your bike with a security kit so that it is visibly part of the database. We run frequent Doctor Bike events where you can get your bike marked for free. You can also collect a kit from the Transport & Parking Office and do it yourself at home. Registering your bike will make it much easier for the Police to identify you as the owner if they recover it.

You should also consider insuring your bike. You can either do this through your home contents insurance, or by purchasing bike-specific insurance. Please note that theft of personal property (including bikes) is not covered by any University insurance policies.

Report thefts to University Security

If you are unfortunate enough to have a bike stolen on campus, please speak to University Security. They will also be able to support you with reporting the crime to the Police.

If you ever see a theft taking place on campus, or feel unsafe for any other reason, Security staff are available 24/7. You can contact them on 0131 650 2257. This phone number is also printed on the back of your University card.

Stay informed about cycling at your campus

We maintain Bicycle User Group (“BUG”) mailing lists for cyclists at our campuses. We publish updates about facilities and events to these lists, so if you regularly cycle to campus, you should join the relevant list to stay informed.

Staff members may also like to join the Staff Cycling Community on Microsoft Teams, for friendly chat and advice from fellow staff cyclists.