Swiss perspectives in 10 languages

Bern ranks among worst for bike theft

Bicycle thieves are particularly busy in the Swiss capital, which has come second on a list of 60 European cities for the most bikes stolen per capita.

German website studied police figures from cities in Switzerland, Germany and Austria and found that 2,378 bikes were stolen in Bern last year. That is 1,837 bicycles per 100,000 residents. Only the German city of Münster had more.

Basel is not much better, with 1,431 bicycles stolen per 100,000 residents, or 2,419 in all. Lausanne placed 12 on the list, followed by Zurich at 24, with 641 bikes stolen per 100,000 residents.

Switzerland also has one of the safest cities for leaving a bicycle unattended: Lugano. Just 112 bicycles were stolen in the small Italian-speaking city last year, or 203 bikes per 100,000 residents. Only Stuttgart in Germany had fewer.

Geneva was not on the list, nor did the study clarify how many bicycles there are per capita in each city. A total of nearly 149,000 bikes were stolen in the cities studied.

Police say only about one in 100 cases of bicycle theft is solved in Bern, a rate of about 1.2 per cent. Lugano had the best rate among Swiss cities, at 6.2 per cent. Magdeburg, Germany, had the best rate of all at 36.3 per cent thanks to a special bicycle investigation team.

The report published on Monday could find no general profile for the classic bicycle thief nor establish any relation between the number of bikes stolen and poverty or the size of a student population in a city.

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR