• Switzerland's news in English

Bern top Swiss city for bike theft

Siobhán Dowling · 22 Nov 2011, 10:38

Published: 22 Nov 2011 10:47 GMT+01:00
Updated: 22 Nov 2011 10:38 GMT+01:00

Cyclists in the Swiss capital would be well advised to invest in a sturdy lock after a study found that Bern is the second worst city in German-speaking countries for bike theft.

That was the result of a study by consumer website Geld.de, which assessed the rate of bike thefts in 127 cities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It found that 360,000 bikes had been stolen in the three countries last year.  

The German city of Münster was top of the list with 1,828 bikes stolen per 100,000 residents. The Swiss capital was a close second at 1,826.

“Bern is a bike town,” Peter Hirter of the Bern Cantonal Police told Der Bund newspaper. He said that outside the central train station was a particularly vulnerable spot when it came to the risk of bikes being stolen.

“Most bicycles in Bern go missing because someone has needed a set of wheels in a hurry,” Hirter said. Many commuters use inexpensive bikes to get to and from the train station. These are then left there all day and are often not particularly securely locked.

It is this type of cheap bike that is usually favoured by the bike crook. “The thief assumes that the loss is not too painful,” Hirter told the paper.

Hirter added that if bikes were issued with licenses it would make his officers’ work much easier. Currently it is hard to prove that someone does not own the bike they are in possession of.

Story continues below…

However, there is often a happy ending. Heinz Pfeuti, spokesman for the Bern Cantonal Police, said that around half of all stolen bikes are returned to their owners after being found dumped elsewhere.


Siobhán Dowling (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Swiss National Day: five traditions all expats should try
Want to learn to play the alphorn? File photo: Christof Sonderegger/Swiss Tourism

Celebrate Swiss National Day on August 1st by learning these proud Swiss traditions.

Swiss bank bounces back from losses
File photo: Emmanuel Dunand

Credit Suisse is back in profit following a first quarter dip.

Man falls to his death over dropped ski pole
The site of the accident. Photo: Valais cantonal police

Frenchman dies after he went to pick up a dropped ski pole and fell 200 metres down a mountain.

Young migrant injured after jumping from window
The girl was staying in a centre for asylum seekers in Zweisimmen. Photo: Vasile Cotovanu

A 15-year-old girl due to be deported from Switzerland is in hospital after jumping from a window.

Woman faked airport bomb threat over marital tiff
The bomb threat caused a big security alert at Geneva airport. File photo: Richard Juilliart

Wednesday's bomb threat was invented by a woman who wanted to get revenge on her husband’s mistress.

Bencic joins Federer in opting out of Rio

The Swiss is the latest top 20 tennis star to pull out of Olympics.

Swiss sports court heads to Rio Olympics
CAS has relocated from Lausanne (pictured) to Rio to deal with doping matters. Photo: CAS

The Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has temporarily relocated to Rio so it can make rulings over Olympic doping from the scene.

Police step up security at Geneva airport after tip-off
File photo: eGuide Travel

UPDATE: Police gradually withdraw security measures put in place this morning after an unspecified threat against the building.

Swiss Post gives stamp of approval to Solar Impulse
The new stamp is available from today. Photo: Swiss Post

A new stamp commemorates the incredible journey of two Swiss pilots.

Family of four dies in Swiss motorway crash
The accident happened near Quinto in the canton of Ticino. File photo: Costas Tavernarakis

The accident happened on the A2 in Ticino.

File photo: Chase Elliott Clark
Study: a fifth of Swiss spy on neighbours
Photo: Katwarn.de
Switzerland mulls alarm text message service
Photo: The Local
Study: grazing cows are worse for the environment
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Photo: Kecko
Terror fears trigger Swiss run on guns
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Photo: Commune d'Ayent
Spectacular Valais ‘bisse’ to feature on new banknote
Photo: Swiss Post
Swiss Post moves to accept debit cards – sometimes
Photo: Chris Marquardt
Police break up dispute over late-night laundry
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Photo: Grand Tours Project
Why you should get on your bike in Switzerland
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Photo: The Local
Swiss village tells landlords: don’t rent homes to refugees
Photo: Rolf Krahl/Christophe G
Survey: world willing to pay more for ‘Swissness’
Photo: The Local
Chaos in Como after Swiss send back refugees
Photo: AFP/The Local
Nine top celebrity hotspots in Switzerland
Photo: Graubunden police
World-class Swiss climber Norbert Joos dies on ‘home mountain’
Photo: Kathleen Waters
Italian ‘ignored’ by Swiss schools in language wars
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Photo: Whitepod
The quirkiest places to stay in Switzerland
Migrant busted trying to sneak into Switzerland in a suitcase
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Photo: Jonathan Kos-Read
Basel suffers wettest six months for 150 years
Photo: Georges Gobet/AFP
Why Swiss science could suffer badly from Brexit fallout
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Photo: Robert Valencia
Swiss couple in Nicaragua told to give back adopted daughter
Photo: Zurich cantonal police
Police hunt prisoner on the run in Zurich murder case
Photo: Christoph G
Switzerland sets out law on expelling foreign criminals
Photo: Bernacqua
Drone shocks nudists at Swiss waterpark
Photo: Basel Justice and Security Dept
New signs lay down law and order for Basel prostitutes
jobs available