National cycle database BikeRegister has hit one million registrations.
Owned by family-run company Selectamark Security Systems, BikeRegister is used by all UK police forces to search for stolen and recovered bikes – a service it offers to the police at zero cost.
Over 1,000 searches are made on BikeRegister each day by the police, retailers and members of the public. In September 2020, 66 stolen bikes were returned to their owners that month alone.
BikeRegister has recently produced some data analysing bike crime during lockdown, showing a significant rise in reported bike theft – up 69.4% in October 2020 against the same month in 2019.
The company has helped inform Government on legislation relating to cycle crime, and in 2017 produced its own National Cycle Crime Survey. BikeRegister works closely with the UK police’s national lead for cycle crime, superintendent Mark Cleland.
“This week we reached a historic milestone with the one-millionth bicycle registered on BikeRegister,” said Cleland. “Registration means that even if a bicycle is stolen there’s an opportunity for it to be recovered and returned to the owner.
“There’s also a good chance that bikes registered with BikeRegister are less likely to be stolen because thieves look for the easiest opportunity. If you’ve yet to register your bicycle, then why not do it right now. Don’t forget to get the best lock you can afford and use it whether at home or away.”
BikeRegister also holds an annual Cycle Crime Conference, where key members from the police, Government, security and cycle industry address delegates on the latest ideas to tackle cycle theft.
The next Cycle Crime Conference is planned for May 2021, and the event will follow the necessary COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions. Other plans for 2021 include expanding into Europe after BikeRegister’s successful launch in Ireland in 2018. The French Government has recently made marking and registration of new bikes compulsory in France, and BikeRegister said it is confident that the successes from the UK and Ireland schemes stand it in good stead when entering these new markets.
Under normal circumstances, UK police forces run BikeRegister cycle marking events across the UK where they mark and register bikes belonging to members of the public. However, during the pandemic, they have found new ways to offer sessions.
Police Scotland, Avon and Somerset Police and the British Transport Police were among those offering well organised, socially distanced events with bike owners queuing a safe distance apart to wait for the service, delivered by officers wearing PPE. Meanwhile, Cheshire Police offered ‘virtual’ bike marking where a kit was delivered to the bike owner’s home for them to apply.
NHS workers were offered free bike marking during lockdown after many of them were targeted by thieves.
BikeRegister is set to partner with the Metropolitan Police on Phase 2 of the MetTrace project which aims to reduce and deter bike theft across London. It has also been a partner of Cyclescheme for more than five years. The partnership has increased the traceability of nearly 200,000 bikes purchased through Cyclescheme, allowing any registered cycle to be identified by police if it is stolen and recovered.
The company’s latest partnership is with specialist cycle insurance provider Bikmo, which is now offering BikeRegister customers exclusive offers on comprehensive cycle insurance. Other partners include British Cycling and Cycling UK.
Mick Cogger, former Crime Prevention Officer for Sussex Police, was instrumental in helping set up the original format for the marking and registration of bicycles by police forces in the UK: “When I assisted in developing the initiative with BikeRegister, my aim was to reduce the number of cycles that were being stolen and at the same time make the ownership of a cycle much easier to establish.
“Being able to identify the rightful owner at the initial point of checking, meant that the police could establish if the cycle had been reported stolen or lost and as a result provide evidence for an immediate arrest, as well as enabling it to be quickly returned to its owner and therefore reducing the likelihood of an insurance claim for the loss.
“With the perseverance of Selectamark, BikeRegister has gone from strength to strength and I would like to praise them for their tenacity and hard work with this excellent crime prevention and crime reduction initiative.”
BikeRegister MD James Brown concluded: “We are extremely proud of achieving this significant ‘one million’ registration milestone. This has been made possible thanks to the hard work of our fantastic BikeRegister team and police forces up and down the country. We are now calling for all cycle retailers to join the movement. By registering all bicycles, e-bikes and even e-scooters at point-of-sale, they can make it impossible for thieves to operate in this space.”
Read BikeBiz’s recent interview with Brown here.
Read the January issue of BikeBiz below: