Registering Your Bicycle

In central Oxford, the police recently had a street stand encouraging people to register their bicycle. Unfortunately a high % of bikes recovered by the police never make it back to their owners. This is a shame as a quick registering of the bike would make it much easier to reunite owners with bicycles. The police end up auctioning many unclaimed bikes. (Police auctions)

Just as I finished posting this, my parents sent a link to this article – Police forced to return stolen bikes back to thieves.

Police are being forced to hand stolen bikes back to suspected thieves because they are not able to prove they are not the rightful owners.Officers say that after they catch a suspect with a bike they believe is stolen they are often unable to charge them.  Without a crime report notifying police of the theft, it is impossible to prove the bike has a different owner.

Because police can’t prove they are stolen they are often forced to allow known criminals to keep stolen bikes. This is a pretty good reason to make effort to register bike. Including some of permanent tags below.

It was encouraging to see the police proactively target bike crime. Often we feel that the Police don’t take bike crime seriously.

According to the Home Office British Crime Survey figures (see table 1), over the calendar years 2009 – 2010 bike theft increased from 477,000 to 533,000 – a 12% increase. That’s over 5% of all crimes estimated to have been committed by the British Crime Survey out of 9.7 million in 2010. Bike theft is such a problem because according to research by Halfords, in 2010 of the estimated 533,000 bikes stolen, only 115,147 were actually reported to the Police.

bike frame

The police recommended using this site – the national property register – I have registered all my bikes, made reference of frame number and uploaded photos. Hopefully, this will increase chance of recovering bike, should the worst happen. The site can also be used to register other items of property.

Bike Tags

bike tags

Something else to consider is getting an immobi Tag. This is a serial number you can put on your bike, but is very difficult for bikes to remove. At £14, I have ordered one and see how it works.

See: Review of Electronic bike tags

After buying the Immobi Tag, I saw this Kryptonite tag at Wiggle for £8.49. This a pack of 3 tags, which may well deter thieves. Kryptonite bike tag at Wiggle £9. When I get my new single speed, I’d be tempted to put these on.


GPS Tags for Bikes

What we would really like is a cheap invisible GPS tag so that bikes can be traced after being stole. This would be the best way to recover a stolen bike. It was so easy to find products on sale.

  • SpyBike GPS Tracker at Integrated Trackers. The GPS tracker looks like a normal headset cap.

Guardian article on the SpyBike in practise.



3 Responses to Registering Your Bicycle

  1. Jonathan June 13, 2012 at 9:53 am #


    Thanks for this I have been meaning to do this but was a little uncertain of the process. I have got to say your blog is really informative and genuinely helpful to a broad range of cyclists! Please keep up the good work – I for one really appreciate reading it. Now go give yourself a pat on the back from me :)

    • tejvan June 13, 2012 at 12:41 pm #

      Thanks Jonathan, I try to put a few useful posts amidst the less serious.

  2. Hurumph June 12, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

    I like that SpyBike gadget! That’s got to be a winner if you have a half decent bike (£100 second-hand value, or more). I want I want!

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