Two west Dorset towns are considered some of the worst places in the county to leave your bike.

With 38 bike thefts in Weymouth, the coastal town is the most likely place to have a bike stolen in west Dorset – this equates to a theft rate of 0.69 per 1,000 people.

Dorchester is then the next worst town with nine thefts and a crime rate of 0.42 per 1,000 residents.

In comparison, Bournemouth tops the list of places not to leave your bike in the whole of the county with a crime rate of 2.29 per 1,000 people.

The figures come from a new report commissioned by online cycling coaching company 

It curated the data from crime analysis site, which analyses publicly available police data, social media traffic and Freedom of Information requests to police forces.

Elite British cyclist and founder of Thigh Club, Alex Dowsett, has offered some advice on how Dorset residents can better protect themselves from bicycle theft.

He said: “As an elite cyclist who depends on my bike, seeing the bicycle thefts across Dorset is truly disheartening.

“My advice to fellow riders worried about theft - invest in quality locks, including a sturdy U-lock paired with a cable for securing both wheels and the frame."

Register your bike on databases like BikeRegister and Immobilise. Don't leave it unattended for long stretches. And check if your home insurance covers bicycle theft.”

It is not all doom and gloom though, there are some parts of west Dorset that have far less bike theft crime.

Topping that list is Portland with a low theft rate of just 0.07 per 1000 residents with just two reported thefts.

Bridport is also on the list of best places to leave your bike with a theft rate of 0.36 per 1000 with just three thefts.

In comparison, Verwood is the safest place in Dorset with crime rate of 0.07 per 1000 residents.

The data represents that there is a lower risk in these areas, but cyclists should not overlook the importance of bike security.

Alex added: “By taking proactive measures and having each other’s backs, we can make the roads safer for Dorset cyclists to chase their dreams.”