Patrick Colquhoun wrote in 1796 in A Treatise on the Police of the Metropolis “deprive a thief of a safe and ready market for his goods, and he is undone”, this quote seems like a fairly simple idea but for some reason the trade in stolen goods including bikes seems just as prevalent.
There is a way to help police (and members of the public) trace your stolen bike should the worst happen and all it involves is 10 seconds of your time. So what is this magical trick? It’s simply recording your frame number.
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So as part of my campaign I’ve been campaigning for the release of stolen bike frame numbers through the use of open data principles.
There are a few frequently asked questions so I thought I’d make a post to address them.
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What follows is just my opinion based on two years of working to tackle bike theft and helping victims get their bikes back. It is not meant to be seen as an attack on any force and is simply a summary based on what I’ve learnt.
I want to say before I get started that there are some fantastic individuals in police forces who genuinely have the right idea. I’ve met officers that have dedicated themselves to reducing bike theft (in one case for the last 5 years of their career), the Met even have a dedicated taskforce who deal with bike crime although they are often over stretched in my personal experience. What I say below shouldn’t reflect on these individuals who are IMO overworked and under thanked, it is instead made to address policing in general.
So just why do I believe bike theft isn’t taken seriously?
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We’ve been contacted by one of our readers to ask for help in recruiting participants for a study into bicycle theft.
Ryan Dunn, a post-graduate anthropology student at University College London, would like to interview recent victims of bicycle theft for his Master’s degree research project. During the interview you will be asked questions about the relationship you had with your lost bicycle, the manner in which the bicycle contributed to your self-identity, and how you were affected by its theft.
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A bike thief who tried to sell a stolen cycle on Gumtree has landed a 12 week prison sentence.
On Thursday 31st October Richmond police were alerted by the victim of a burglary that her bike was being sold on Gumtree. The bike, a £500 Specialized Ariel cycle was being advertised for £200 under the guise that the seller stated he was moving to Australia. Officers from the Richmond Burglary Team arranged to meet the seller purporting to be an interested party that same day at Asda in Roehampton.
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