MAASTRICHT. Over the past six years, more than ten thousand bicycles have been stolen in Maastricht. That is 88 for every thousand inhabitants (in relative terms, this is more than in Amsterdam or Utrecht). The favourite spot for thieves is the city centre of the Limburg capital, as appeared from figures shown by RTL Nieuws. The news editors made a list of the number of registered bicycle thefts in twelve thousand areas in the Netherlands.
Areas surrounding railway stations, usually places where many bicycles are parked, are attractive too. In Maastricht, Wyck takes second place with 1,437 stolen bicycles over a period of six years. Perhaps the completion of the underground bicycle parking facility at the end of 2017, will drastically reduce the percentage. By then, it will provide a safe place for three thousand bicycles, free of charge for the first 24 hours.
If we look at a university city like Nijmegen, we see that it is worst off with 95 stolen bicycles per one thousand inhabitants since 2010. The centre of Nijmegen tops the list, together with the city centre of Enschede.
The police registered about 640 thousand thefts over the past six years in Dutch neighbourhoods. RTL Nieuws based their analysis on the number of bicycle thefts that were reported. According to Statistics Netherlands, this is a mere 30 per cent of all cases. And those who did file a report, were seldom fortunate. Last year, offenders were found in only 4 per cent of all registered bicycle theft cases, or 1 in 24 thefts.