If you are leaving your motorcycle parked in a public park, look for CCTV cameras and park in the line of their sight, if that is possible.
Most railway parking stations and public carpark areas such as shopping centres have CCTV cameras that are monitored by security staff.
However, they are not always trained on the motorcycle parking areas.
One western Sydney resident recently told us that the Penrith station has dedicated parking for about eight bikes on the outside of a multi-story carpark.
“Inside the car park and around the station is a good network of CCTV that covers the majority of the station, that is except where motorbikes are parked,” he says.
“I have seen one poor rider return to find his chain cut and helmet on the floor with no bike.”
He wrote to NSW Transport and Infrastructure Minister Mark Court who replied that Sydney Trains will “consider” the rollout of a new CCTV system as part of the commuter car park upgrade at the station.
We contacted ministers in various states for their policy on CCTV cameras and incidence of motorcycle theft, but could not get any statistics.
However, each state has thousands of CCTV cameras and security staff who monitor the cameras and patrol these stations.
But it is up to riders to ensure they park under lights and in line of sight of the cameras, if possible.
National Theft Reduction Council boss Ray Carroll says they don’t have any statistics on specific locations of motorcycle theft.
“Most often the police reports will have an address but not a description of what that type of place that is,” he says.
“When we have done previous analysis it would appear that in about 70% of reports where the type of location is known it is a residence.
“This doesn’t mean that bikes aren’t stolen from public transport carparks, and in sufficient numbers for riders to regard it as a problem.
“In reality, bikes can be stolen from wherever they are parked and riders need to take all practical precautions they can against theft.”
Here’s how you can protect your bike
- Buy a secure chain so you can chain your bike to an immovable object like a lamp post.
- If you park your motorcycle outside your house, consider installing wireless outdoor security cameras or a motion sensor light near the bike.
- Use a secure disc lock with a reminder cord attached to your handlebars so you don’t ride off with it still in place.
- Also, use the steering lock if your bike has one.
- Even when parked in a secure location such as your garage or behind a locked gate, consider the extra security of using the steering lock, a disc lock or chain as well.
- Pull out a spark plug or fuse, or have an immobiliser fitted.
- Avoid parking your bike in railway or shopping centre car parks as these are notorious for theft.
- Park in a locked carpark. If you have to park in the open, leave it where you can see your bike or in view of a security camera and/or under a light.
- Otherwise, keep your bike out of sight, maybe parking it behind your car. If parking in a garage, block the bike with your car and ensure the garage is locked.
- Use DataDot, DNA+ or a security tag to identify your bike.
- When riding home, make sure you are not being followed.
- Stay alert for suspicious vans or trucks driving around late at night. These are used to transport stolen motorcycles.
- Put a cover over your bike. It might slow down thieves and prevent theft of accessories. But make sure it isn’t a flashy lone with the brand name of the bike on it. That only entices thieves.
- When riding in a group, park your bikes together.
- Consider marking your bike in a unique way that could aid in recovery and therefore dissuade thieves.
- At hotels or public parking spaces, try to park in view of parking lot security cameras and lights.
- Install a motorcycle alarm and/or a hidden kill switch.
- Buy a GPS tracking system that can track and relay your bike’s speed, location and direction.