Make your bike 57.5% less attractive to thieves. Get it tagged

PulseIDPackageWhen the bike thief is sneaking around with a huge pair of bolt cutters under his arm he doesn’t want a bike that is security tagged. A little sticker on a visible part of the frame can identify the security marking and lately I’ve been seeing an ever greater number of people donning these stickers. This makes it more important in your bicycle security arsenal not to let the security marking be the weak link.

Luckily, it’s a quick and easy fix. Police are holding various security marking sessions around London and the nice people at TfL have sent me a list of where they are happening next.

Bike tagging sessions in London

Updated these today (6 September)

11-Sep 10am to 4pm Chiswick Common near Turnham Green, W4
19-Sep 11am to 5pm Wanstead Festival, Christchurch Green, High Street, E11
21-24 September All day Fresher’s Fair, Queen Mary’s University, on Mile End Road E1
22-23 September 4pm to 7pm Battersea Park, Battersea Park Road, London SW11 4ND
23-Sep 8am to 1pm Narrow Way junction with Mare Street, Hackney (inside St Johns Church Yard)
8-10 October All day Cycle Show Earls Court, Earls Court Exhibition Centre, Warwick Road, London, SW5 9TA

When you arrive at the marquee an officer will turn your bike upside down and place one sticker on the underside of the frame. This is the one that cannot easily be removed. He will also give you one more sticker to place in a more visible location. A copy of the frame number is then made, if you wish, to be registered into their database.

This means that the next time someone is stopped by the police they can check the frame number and see the security marking. Hopefully re-uniting the bike with its rightful owner.

Don’t have time to go to the police sessions?

If you’re pressed for time you can also use the power of the internet. A new start-up called Bike Revolution is aiming to get all bikes in the UK registered. They sell the Pulse ID tags which is  one of the cheapest and best ways to get a bike tagged. The tags are tamper proof and can be read by police.

The company is also aiming to build a big network of followers and make it possible for anyone to check if a bike is stolen using their mobile phones. This should hugely aid your chances of bike recovery if it is tagged as there is a much bigger army of people out there looking for your bike.

Bike Revolution is also developing various strategic partnerships with sites such as newly launched GoingGoingBike to make it harder for someone to sell a stolen bike. They seems to have great momentum behind them and have learnt from some of the mistakes of other bike marking companies.

Could we see bike crime drop by 50%?

Using similar techniques to those Bike Revolution is pioneering Norway saw a drop in bike theft by 50%. Therefore they are definitely pursuing a worthy cause.

Oh, and by the way the 57.5% figure is of course completely made up. Unfortunately, I have no way of scientifically judging how much less attractive a bike is to a thief though it would be interesting to see that figure.

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31 Responses to Make your bike 57.5% less attractive to thieves. Get it tagged

  1. Dani Riot 21/07/2010 at 11:45 am #

    Is this gonna cost anything. So i’m prepared as i turn up.

    • Andrew 21/07/2010 at 12:22 pm #

      No, its a service which is free of charge. Or at least it was at the Police marking session on Clapham Common for the CS7 launch.

      • Andreas 21/07/2010 at 1:48 pm #

        That’s right. Free of charge :)

  2. Dani Riot 22/07/2010 at 3:10 pm #

    ok, one last novice question.

    I take it you need to prove ownership of the bike?

    • Andreas 23/07/2010 at 9:13 am #

      Actually I don’t think you do. But if you turn up and you have a stolen frame number then I’m guessing that will register with them.

  3. Chris 23/07/2010 at 10:19 am #

    Pity there are no sessions in West London. all of these are well out of my way on my commute, and too far to cycle to at lunch from Hammersmith. And I don’t fancy cycling from Middlesex to one of these locations at the weekend, either – it would take 3 hours out of my precious time off!!

    • T 23/07/2010 at 12:17 pm #

      I wonder if there’s any way to suggest a location for bike tagging. Lyric Square in Hammersmith would seem to me to be a perfect place for one of these events – the police station is just down the road and there are a fair few cyclists in Hammersmith (me for one!).

    • Vladimir 05/12/2011 at 10:31 am #

      well, getting there and having it tagged saves you around £15 or so that you would otherwise spend with bike register. so, if your time off is worth more than £15 to you (and I’nm sure that it is), then just get a tagging kit from bike register directly.
      I almost did this, before I found out about the tagging sessions and realised they were around 30 min out of my way.

  4. Aka Bob 23/07/2010 at 7:00 pm #

    The Team have been to Lyric Square, Westfield and The Ealing Skyride over the last few weeks.

    • T 24/07/2010 at 6:15 pm #

      Aw shame, I must have missed it. Will keep my eyes peeled in the future (or leave for work earlier so I have time to stop at one of the ones en route!).

  5. Michael 10/08/2010 at 8:14 am #

    Just popped along to Evans Cycles at Tooley St on the way into work this morning, and no one there at all. Got there at 7.30 on the dot, shop was closed and there were no police in sight. Maybe they were running late? Would be keen to hear if anyone went along later and had more luck! Lovely morning for a cycle though….

  6. Karen 10/08/2010 at 1:26 pm #

    I too went to Evans this morning at approx 7.45 and no one was there. Did they call it off because of the rain?

  7. Alastair 17/08/2010 at 9:57 pm #

    No one at the Duke of York steps at 6pm today either.

  8. Duncan Palmer 18/08/2010 at 11:27 am #

    No-one at Duke of York steps yesterday. Wasted journey into the city.

  9. A 19/08/2010 at 9:10 am #

    No-one at Duke of York steps this morning either. Is anyone picking up these comments and going to let us know where and when they will actually be doing any tagging?

  10. Duncan Palmer 19/08/2010 at 12:13 pm #

    Have called the Met, they are looking into this and calling me back.

  11. Duncan Palmer 19/08/2010 at 12:35 pm #

    The police know nothing about this. So maybe TfL will know something… ANYTHING!?

  12. Duncan Palmer 19/08/2010 at 1:59 pm #

    Cycle task force just called me. They were moving offices apparently and apologised. Hopefully they will see the comments and respond to people.

  13. Frank 19/08/2010 at 4:58 pm #

    Sort of a relief I guess, was also at steps this morning and hung around for a bit before heading off. Shame…

  14. Andreas 23/08/2010 at 4:36 pm #

    Hey guys, sorry this didn’t work out – I’m gonna contact them today and see what happened to the sessions they promised.

  15. Andreas 26/08/2010 at 9:15 am #

    Added 3 more today. Will keep eye to see if any more in future.

  16. Lee 26/08/2010 at 10:23 am #

    There’s also this: http://www.mybikenumber.com/

  17. Alex 26/08/2010 at 10:33 am #

    They were there this morning, when I went past just after 10am

  18. Esteban 27/08/2010 at 10:13 am #

    I went to Tooley Street one yesterday and I didn’t have any problem. It didn’t take more than a few minutes (and it’s free!). You don’t need to bring anything other than your bike. However, they left at about 6:40pm rather than 7pm, so if you are going to any of the other tagging events better be there well before the end time.
    The policeman told me that they will also be tagging bikes at the Sky ride next Sunday 5th:
    http://www.goskyride.com/city/details.aspx?eventid=305&cityid=4

  19. Jason 01/09/2010 at 2:53 pm #

    Might sound like a silly question but could a criminal not just bring a stolen bike and get it registered to himself?

    • Duncan Palmer 01/09/2010 at 2:55 pm #

      I imagine most thieves are in it to sell them on?

      • Jason 01/09/2010 at 4:37 pm #

        Ah, i’m not the brightest crayon in the box

  20. Douglas McCartney 17/09/2010 at 11:00 am #

    Yet another complete waste of time and resources. Who in their right mind considers puting a sticky label on anything will make it less attractive to theives. Get real. Maybe even apply a little common sense. And PLEASE stop referring to this ridiculous scheme as ‘Bike Tagging’ which just confuses users of established RFID based cycle identification systems, operational in the UK for over 10 years. If you want to deter cycle theft, fit Immobitag and have the cycle registered on http://www.immobilise.com, the only Home Office approved property register in the UK!

  21. Will 11/03/2011 at 8:50 pm #

    Above mentioned Pulse ID tags no longer seem to be available. No response from BikeRevolution when I tweeted either.

  22. liz 27/05/2012 at 10:36 pm #

    I had a bike stolen earlier this year, has a bike shepherd tag on it but so far no luck. also waz locked using a krptonite lock and in view of cctv.

  23. Miles Taylor 10/10/2014 at 2:49 pm #

    Actually the guys who seem to have the best solution is Datatag – they are the tech behind both the official motorcycle and agricultural plant schemes – their kit not only uv etches your frame but also marks all your components too – a real 360 solution. Plus the police know all about Datatag and how to access the database to prove ownership – all for just £29.99 one off. No brainer
    to me.

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