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Bicycle thieves 'fastest in London'

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Cyclists leaving their bikes at London Bridge Railway station could be the most likely in the country to have to make a bike insurance claim after researchers found criminals strike most quickly there.

Brand new bicycles were left at locations in 10 British cities to see where the light-fingered criminals would strike first.

Within 17 minutes an unsecured £130 bicycle was pilfered from London Bridge Railway station, one of the busiest in the country.

Thieves in Glasgow took just 1 hour 30mins to sneak the bike away and 1 hour 55mins in Birmingham.

At the opposite end of the scale the bicycle left in bustling Mathew Street, Liverpool, remained undisturbed for three hours and 52 minutes and criminals in Bristol, Manchester, Norwich, Newcastle, Portsmouth and Cardiff were also slow to react.

More Than researchers said they were shocked by the "efficiency and expertise" of the thieves, with some taken by individuals who "swooped" as they jogged past or cycled on their own bicycle while towing the stolen goods.

A company spokesman said: "It really does make sense to ensure your bike is secured properly to an immovable object before you leave it unattended, and to think about taking out insurance cover just in case the worst should happen."

© Press Association 2009