MAPPED Are YOU living near Britain”s WORST bike theft spots?

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Elder Gate at Milton Keynes train station has been named as the country’s hotspot for thefts, where a shameful 72 bikes were stolen from the parking area on the street and a further 19 taken from a nearby location on the road running in front of the station between September 2015 and October 2016.

Running a close second on 71 thefts was Meridian Square, next to Stratford railway station in Newham, east London – close to the Westfield shopping centre and the Olympic park.

Station Road, in the university city of Cambridge, came in third with a staggering 63 reported thefts.

But Cambridge came out top of the list for the highest number of thefts within a particular borough.

Despite the city having a population of just under 131,000, it suffered 2,173 thefts, outstripping the second highest, Manchester on 1,874 – equivalent of 16.6 thefts per 1,000 people.

Birmingham had the dubious honour of third place with 1,502.

The worst London borough was Hackney, in the north west of the capital, with 1,440 thefts.

Across all 33 London boroughs, almost 18,000 bicycles were stolen.

The figures were compiled by Protect Your Bubble from crime figures from all police forces across England and Wales.

Overall, 227 bicycles were stolen on a daily basis, amounting to 82,000 in the past year.

Worryingly, the figures show that the criminals got away with their ill-gotten gains in almost three quarters – 72 per cent – of cases.

At the other end of the scale, west Devon is the safest place to leave a push bike with the area reporting just four thefts in the past 12 months.

Also reporting incidents of less than double figures were South Hams, also in Devon, the Isles of Scilly and Rutland in the East Midlands.

Rob Basinger, head of UK at Protect Your Bubble, said: “When you contrast the cycle theft rate for Oxbridge with England and Wales, it’s abundantly clear these university towns are as popular with thieves as students.

“There’s no safety in numbers, either. In towns like Cambridge, a high number of cyclists results in a high number of thefts.”

“Bike theft is a nationwide issue but there are some streets that stand out as having a particular problem. Commuters leaving bikes at railway stations for any length of the time stand a chance of being targeted.

“If you have to leave your bike on the street then make sure it is locked securely and, as with any item of value, if you think it may be at risk then consider taking out insurance for extra peace of mind.”