Thames Valley Police (TVP) has been helping us understand the stolen bike repatriation process.
[See article below on Immobolise and click here for BikeRegister]
If your bike is registered, TVP will contact you and your bike will be returned to you.
TVP hold bike marking events where they use either the BikeRegister or Immobilise kits. RCC will publicise these on Facebook when we receive advance notice.
TVP bike marking events are promoted via Thames Valley Alerts, which is a free email messaging system where you can receive regular crime updates, information on ongoing incidents and crime prevention relevant to your local area. Subscribe to receive these emails here: thamesvalleyalert.co.uk
Unfortunately, limited resources means that these scheduled events can often be cancelled at short notice, if a more urgent requirement for a police presence occurs.
In addition, TVP advised RCC that they no longer pick abandoned bikes up unless they can prove they have been stolen. They simply do not have enough vehicles for transport, space at the station for housing the bikes, or personnel.
We suggest that we all look out for abandoned bikes, which if registered (with a sticker or stencil code) we can easily check on the two databases and report as being found.
If your bike has been stolen, report the theft as soon as possible on stolen-bikes.co.uk regardless of whether you have registered the bike with any of the Bike Marking services.
Another associated website, findthatbike.co.uk, offers a search of bikes offered for sale on third party sites such as Gumtree and eBay. Adverts are usually placed within 24 hours of the theft, but if not, keep looking as they sometimes take a few months to pop up.
Locally there is a WatchWokingham Facebook group ‘Wokingham Lost, Stolen and Found Cycles’ (www.facebook.com/groups/wokinghamlostcycles), plus you can always send photos and details to the RCC Facebook page which we will share for you.
Finally, don’t forget to report all thefts to TVP at: www.thamesvalley.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime/
Although bike theft is considered a low-level crime, it often prevents victims from cycling and disproportionately impacts the young and most vulnerable.
Surely we can do better at stopping this plague on cyclists, particularly as bikes are often stolen to sell and buy drugs and commit other crimes.
Accessible, secure bike parking can help. Read our update on Reading’s new bike hub here.
ImmobiBike from Immobilise contains a chip with a unique code that can be read by a suitable scanner (typically used by police and responsible second-hand traders).
A search for the code against police or trader systems enables the bike’s return to its rightful owner.
ImmobiBike – RFID Bicycle Security Tag (presentation pack) costs £14.99.
- FREE lifetime registration at Immobilise.com
- The patent-protected shuttle sits snuggly in a range of frame sizes and is virtually impossible to remove without significant effort, tooling and considerable risk of damaging the bike.
- The QR coded warning label deters theft by making it clear that another, invisible identification is within the bike.
- If you sell the bike, the new owner doesn’t need to buy a new tag. Just tell them the tag number and to register at Immobilise.com, then remove the tag number from your account.
Finally, please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any other advice regarding reporting and finding stolen bikes and we will share with our members.
RCC Publicity Coordinator