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 BikeRegister claims to be the “only police approved cycle database”. This I believe has been carefully worded to make it appear their are no police approved alternatives to their service which I will debunk below.
The below assumes that by Police Approved, they mean Secure by Design (I see no evidence to say otherwise).
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So recently a journalist over at BikeRadar took a summary of Freedom of Information requests to make a useful and informative post about the disjointed approach police take when looking for the owners of recovered bikes.
The article can be found here it shows “that all forces apart from Lincolnshire Constabulary – which didn’t reply – checked recovered bikes against their own force wide database. However only 14 forces said they cross-checked the recovered bike with Immobilise and just ten with specialist provider, BikeRegister.”
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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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