The news that Conservative party leader David Cameron?s bike has been stolen demonstrates how often bike theft happens and how many members of the public do not notice when bicycles are stolen from the street. So says the CTC, the UK’s national cyclists’ organisation.

According to the British Crime Survey, around 300,000 bikes are stolen every year in England and Wales and only five per cent of people ever get their bikes back. It also appears that bike theft is on the rise, as the British Transport Police report: since 2000, theft and damage to bikes at railway stations has doubled, while motor vehicle crime has fallen by 50 per cent. There are now as many motor vehicle crimes recorded at railway stations as there are cycle crimes ? 5,600 per year.

To prevent cycle theft, CTC is calling for more secure bike parking at railways stations and in shopping areas, as it reduces the chances of a cycle being stolen.

CTC?s Director Kevin Mayne said: ?We hope that David Cameron is covered by insurance. As a regular cyclist David should take advantage of CTC?s new Bike to Work package which offers all the benefits of being a CTC member with breakdown cover, so at least he could have got a lift home last night. We also hope this incident doesn?t put him off cycling to work.?

Sadly bike theft often puts people off cycling and many never get another bike after theirs is stolen. According to research group Design Against Crime at the University of the Arts London, 17 per cent of cyclists experience bicycle theft: of these 24 per cent stop cycling and 66 per cent cycle less often.

Cameron’s bike was stolen on Portobello Road, west London, on Wednesday. The politician had stopped off to buy some food at a local supermarket and returned to where he had locked up his bike to find it had gone.