No doubt many of you or your children have received bikes as presents over Christmas, so it is worth remembering to get details of those bike registered with a national database or security tagged by your local police force.
Also keep a cycle passport. A cycle passport is handy record of all aspects of your bike. This info can include make, model number, serial number, any security marketing, distinctive marks on the bike and also a photo. Store the passport in a safe place and pass it to a police officer if your bike is then stolen. The passport will help the officer to gain a full description of the bike and help you report it accurately if it is stolen.
Security marking your bike is a quick and easy away to safeguard your bike both as a deterrent to theft and as an aid to recover the bike if it is indeed stolen.
To be effective a security marking must always be clearly visible – advertise that the bike is security marked or tagged. Attaching a clearly visible label advertising the fact the bike is tagged can provide a deterrent to theft. Any security marking/tagging must give clear information via the visible mark (label, etching, etc) that will quickly allow police to identify the method of security marking or tagging (and where applicable the registration company), and through this identify the owner. Bike Register and Bike Shepherd offer ID tags that can be read by mobile phones on their sites, while Bike Register also offers a permanent etched ID.
Your local Police force will occasionally run free bike security marking sessions where you can get your bike security marked or tagged. Look at your local Constabulary Force website for bike marking events or contact your local Police Station directly. Some local councils also run free bike security marking events.
You can also buy RFID security tags yourself independently (at a cost) and place the tag on the bike itself. The Immbolise database (which the the police use to help find original owners of stolen items ranging from bikes to television) for instance has a product called Immobitag. This product has an electronic bike tag that allows bikes with uninterrupted seat tubes to be traced back to owner using the unique id contained within the electronic tag. The ImmobiTag is embedded into the bike frame so it is almost impossible to remove.
The unique ImmobiTag ID is then registered on Immobilise together with any frame numbers and warning tag serial numbers that are found on your bicycle. Police forces will be able to scan for the tag if the bike is recovered from being stolen and find the original owner via the Immobilise database.
Bike Register also has an electronic tagging system available via their website at a cost.
While, security marking and registering your bike may not stop your bike being stolen, it does provide a good chance that your stolen bike could be reunited with you or a member of your family if local police recover the bike.
Two good locks
Despite bike theft being on the increase, many people still don’t lock their bikes with even one lock. The lock can be a forgotten item when a bike is purchased as a present, particularly kids bikes. We advise that you should carry two locks at all times
Bicycle thieves tend to carry one type of tool/device for breaking a lock. This device may be able to break one type of lock but is unlikely to be able to cut its way through both types.
If is not possible to carry two locks make sure you spend on a lock that is enough of a deterrent to deter any bike thief. The most important factor in buying a lock is to consider how long the product can resist attack. A hardened steel D-shaped lock is recommended by us as the minimum standard. Our range of locks can be found here, if you are looking to purchase a lock.
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