Cycle theft is a huge disincentive to cycling. Many victims of bike theft – especially in big cities – decide to give up cycling altogether rather than replace the stolen bicycles.
There are already cycle registration scheme in existence but, significantly, Immobilise has the backing of Transport for London, an organisation pumping money into cycling in the Capital. Immobilise.com's new cycle registration option will be well-promoted.
The register is a system that allows the police to identify the owner of registered items of property. In addition, members of the public can flag any registered item as lost or stolen and this then appears on any police search.
The cycle registration service was launched at ExCeL by Jenny Jones, member of the London Assembly and the Metropolitan Police Authority.
She said: "London has been very successful in increasing the number of cyclists, but if we don't make cycle theft more difficult then many people will be put off using their bikes. This initiative is about making life harder for criminals and much easier for cyclists."
Peter Hendy, MD of surface transport at TfL, said: "Having a bicycle stolen is a horrible experience. This is compounded by so few bikes ever making it back to their owners. By registering their bicycles owners have a fighting chance of getting them back."
To help take the risk out of buying pre-owned bicycles, cyclists and traders in used bikes will be able to check if the bike they intend to buy has been registered as lost or stolen on the register by visiting http://www.checkmend.org
Checks can be carried out via SMS. Trade sellers of pre-owned bikes who wish to check large volumes of bikes on a regular basis can register as 'trade users' of the Checkmend service.
http://www.immobilise.com is endorsed by the Metropolitan and City of London Police, Association of Cycle Traders, Bicycle Association, and London Cycle Campaign.