25 November 2011

Spot the unregistered bike: Anti-theft paint jobs

Cycle theft in York is down, according to a meeting on the subject I went to this week. (Amusingly, there wasn't proper cycle parking, just a bit of chain.)

But one of the biggest problems the police face is that of unmarked bikes. There are several dodgy, lockup-garage bike dealers they have their eye on, who flog machines of dubious provenance through Gumtree and eBay using only mobile phone numbers.

When they turn up at said lockup making polite enquiries, however, none of the bikes there register on any database, so there's no proof they've been half-inched.

The local register in York is called Operation Spoke - there are regular free registration sessions - and this automatically puts you onto the national Immobilise database.

Hmm; it's no guarantee, as I know from having my Immobilise-registered bike nicked in Twickenham. The police there showed as much interest as if I'd lost a packet of fags in the pub. I never saw it again. But worth doing nevertheless.

Anyway, the owner of this MTB, spotted - literally - at York market this morning, has set up his own bike-marking scheme: vibrant yellow spattered onto jungle green.

How much use this will be in assisting the police if it gets abducted to a lockup I don't know, but it looks striking. No doubt the York heritage lobby will try to stop it.

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