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Motorbike thefts (868A/22)


  • 1: The total number of motorbike thefts over the last two years split per police force area that you cover. If possible, please can the total number of thefts, for each year, be split per month, so we can determine the most popular time per year for theft, e.g., spring/winter, etc.
  • 2: The most common stolen parts from the motorbikes, if this is possible
  • 3: The most common stolen motorbike models, if this is possible


Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide this information within the appropriate (cost) limit within the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act (see ‘Reason for Decision’ below).


Although excess cost removes the force’s obligations under the Freedom of Information Act, as a gesture of goodwill I have supplied information, relative to your request, retrieved before it was realised that the fees limit would be exceeded (see attached file 868A/22). I trust this is helpful, but it does not affect our legal right to rely on the fee’s regulations for the remainder of the request.


For Question 1- The request was completed by searching for the presence of keywords within the incident summaries of crimes related to Theft or Unauthorised Taking of Motor Vehicle and Aggravated Vehicle Taking.

The keywords used were:


‘motor bike’



‘motor cycle’




Keyword searches are notoriously unreliable, the reasons why searches using this method are not reliable include (but are not limited to) the following: –

  1. a) Searches rely on the keywords being spelt correctly with no grammatical errors
  2. b) Searches rely on the keywords actually being mentioned in the summary description of the record – if they are mentioned anywhere else within the record but not in the summary, then they will not feature in any results


For Question 2: This information is not held in a retrievable format.


For Question 3: There is no mandatory field for the make / model of a motor bike. Also, officers may record the make and model of a motor bike in many different ways.  Therefore, this would exceed the time limitations within the FOI act as each record would need to be assessed in order to match each make / model description up with another. There are 1350 results and to read each one and try to accurately match it up / it may also not be recorded, would take 1350 x 20 mins per record = 450 hours.

Please note that these data should be interpreted with caution. Comparing numbers of incidents/crimes can be misleading and does not necessarily indicate the likelihood of someone being a victim of crime. In addition, the number of incidents/crimes recorded in an area over a period of time can be influenced by a number of factors. Consequently, statistics on incidents/crimes for one period may not necessarily be a good indicator of future incidents in that area.

Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes. The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are considered when interpreting those data.

The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be considered when those data are used.

If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.



868A 22 attachment