Stolen Bikes UK has launched a tool that enables bicycle buyers to check the theft status, should they suspect that the offer is too good to be true.
Found at CheckThatBike.co.uk, the service provides a way for buyers of used bikes to ensure that what they are buying isn't stolen. It does so by taking the frame number or asset tag and checking it against every bike register and with bicycle insurers. Recently CheckThatBike! made an agreement with ETA Insurance to check frame numbers against lists of bikes reported stolen by their customers, a world first as far as the cycling industry is concerned.
CheckThatBike! is also campaigning for police forces to release data about frame numbers reported stolen to them. This has led to a petition with over 5,000 signatures and participation in a Crime and Justice Challenge series which recently resulted in them winning a significant NESTA grant to support the service.
Having worked with police forces around the UK, John Moss's Stolen Bikes UK website has led to the recovery of over 140 bikes and a recovery rate claimed to be better than that of police force's alone.
John explains, "I'm extremely happy with the work I've done as Stolen Bikes UK, but I have no intention of hanging up my SPDs just yet. Knowing that there are bikes in the hands of their rightful owners thanks to the service is fantastic but there's still a long way to go."
Bike Theft costs cyclists £140 million a year in stolen bikes, as well as costing the police £45 million every year in investigation and prosecution costs and the UK taxpayers £1.03billion every year (from those that give up). Victims of bike crime typically cycle less following their ordeal.