The Groningen police have issued a warning to residents of the Helpman neighbourhood in the south of Groningen following a wave of bike thefts.
Translation by Traci White
The Groninger Internet Courant reports that a higher than usual number of bikes have been stolen in the area in recent months. The police say that the Helperplein shopping centre in particular seems to have been targeted by bike thieves. The police are encouraging anyone with tips about bike theft or any other suspicious activity in the area to contact the authorities.
Figures released in May reported that bike theft reports in the city of Groningen were down by 30 percent in 2017 compared to 2016, but the decline may also be attributable to the complicated online process to file a report. In 2017, there were 2,321 missing bike reports filed in the city of Groningen.
According to the Dutch Cycling Association, the national average percentage of people who have had at least one bike stolen in the past year have hovered around four percent, which is roughly 5 or 6 people out of every 100, in recent years. However, these numbers are likely lower than the actual number of bikes which are stolen, and the Dutch Central Bureau for Statistics stopped publishing numbers of stolen bikes in 2010.