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.
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.
The police recommended using this site immobilise.com – 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.
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.
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.
- Bike Shephered – 10 steps to recovering bike and register a bike on stolen bike register.
- Bike Register.com – another bike register site.
- How to prevent bike theft.