BikeRegister has launched a free Bike Checker service to help cycle retailers verify they are buying bikes from a genuine source.
The new Bike Checker facility can be used by both retailers and members of the public to check the origin of second-hand bikes being offered to them for sale.
According to BikeRegister, more than half of all bike thefts take place from an owner’s property and bike thieves are becoming increasingly more organised, with the ease with which a stolen bike can be sold continuing to encourage the theft of bikes.
Alongside the BikeChecker facility, BikeRegister has unveiled a new Code of Practice for the Purchase and Sale of Second-hand bikes.
The code of practice has been developed in conjunction with the Metropolitan Police Service’s Cycle Task Force and other police partners who are looking at ways to expand the successful Project Cycle Ops launched a year ago by Chief Superintendent Sultan Taylor, which delivered a reduction of cycle crime in London of over 10 per cent in its first year.
Chief Sup. Sultan Taylor said:“We want retailers and buyers of second-hand bikes to be assured that they have taken part in a legitimate sale and that the bikes are not stolen.
“I urge all second-hand cycle retailers to ensure that they check bikes with BikeRegister before purchase to verify legitimacy of sales. Should they discover that the bikes are stolen they should report it immediately to police.
"To help ensure we disrupt the trade of stolen cycles I cannot recommend strongly enough that all bicycle owners security mark their bikes with BikeRegister."
BikeRegister is used by Police forces across the UK to help them reunite some of the thousands of lost or stolen bikes they recover every year to their legal owners. The system is also designed to prevent bike theft in the first instance as the visible etching deters thieves.
BikeRegister said: "The new Code of Practice (CoP) aims to help control the trade in second-hand cycles and to make it more difficult for criminals to dispose of stolen property through the retail network.
"The CoP has been prepared on behalf of the Police Service, enforcement partners and local businesses that deal in the purchase/sale of second-hand bikes offered for resale. It is intended for use as the basis of standard operating procedures for all businesses that purchase or sell second-hand bikes. Four police forces have already signed up to the new code, with many others showing increasing interest.
"The CoP outlines minimum criteria necessary for the identification, purchase and sale of second-hand bikes and supplies information on what actions are necessary when a cycle is identified as not being in the possession of its rightful/lawful owner."
BikeRegister MD Andrew Knights added: “Our new CoP is intended to be a voluntary guide for companies who operate in this area.
“If all bike shops insisted on an ownership check on BikeChecker before purchasing a second-hand bike and recording details of all second-hand bikes on BikeRegister, it would be a significant step forward in the fight against bike crime.
“It would also protect the retailer from handling stolen goods and generate goodwill towards the retailer from the cycling community.”
BikeRegister is also developing a new Traffic Light System to allow the provenance of second-hand bikes being offered for sale to be checked on web-based auction sites.
You can get hold of the Code of Practice for the Purchase and Sale of Second-hand bikes from BikeRegister’s sales team on 0800 587 4739 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org