When 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.