Lock it, tag it or lose it – how riders can help fight crime
Riders in the capital are being asked to increase their bike security to prevent their motorcycles, scooters and mopeds from being used as getaway vehicles with the reminder ‘lock it, tag it or lose it’.
Over 9,900 powered two wheelers (PTWs) across London were reported as stolen in the 12 months from April 2014 to March 2015 – that’s 27 each day. The personal cost to the riders involved is estimated to be around £26 million a year, but there is a further cost when the bikes are used to commit additional crimes.
Criminals steal bikes to carry out other vehicle theft, robbery and serious youth violence – sometimes gang related. Monthly figures for moped/motorbike associated crimes committed this year show a 62% increase from 241 in January to 392 in June. The snatching of mobile phones by thieves on bikes or mopeds is a particular problem in certain areas.
What can you do?
Police are asking people to be vigilant at home:
- Call 999 if you see suspicious activity in around driveways and/or vehicles/motor cycle bays
- Lock motorcycles and mopeds in a garage (if possible)
- If it is on driveway, motorcycles should be parked and chained in the corner of a driveway close to house. Block it in with another vehicle if possible.
- Lock all alley gates to ensure suspects cannot get to back of houses and/or garages
- If it is chained up, ensure it is chained to something e.g. wall, lamppost, etc
- CCTV / dummy cameras will deter criminal activity
Other ways to protect your bike include:
Marking – If not already protected with the industry MASTER scheme, retro fit a marking security system, which covers all parts of the motorcycle or scooter.
Parking – when parking away from home choose designated parking with a stand and security loop, or if this is not available try areas with lots of people, good lighting and CCTV.
Locks - use more than one – focus on disc locks, D locks and chain locks, fitted tight to the bike and through difficult to remove parts. Additionally try to keep the lock off the ground to avoid hammer attack
Back wheel - secure the back wheel of your bike, rather than front as front wheels are generally easier to remove.
Time - when leaving your bike for a long period or overnight, lock it to something secure and use a cover. At home consider fitting ground anchors to secure your bike
Tracking - consider fitting a Thatcham Approved Tracking system
Noise - make sure you use audible alarms to draw unwanted attention to the thieves
Insurance – some companies give discounts if you invest in certain security measures. Ask about these.
This advice is being given as part of Operation Venice, which is the name given to the Metropolitan Police Services’ crack down on motorcycle, scooter and moped theft and the crimes committed on stolen vehicles.
During the past few months, officers have conducted:
- mass checks on parked mopeds
- raids on individuals suspected of stealing PTWs of using them to commit crimes
- held high visibility patrols in key areas
Larger machines targeted too
Police intelligence suggests that organised crime groups are also targeting older high powered motorbikes, which are not protected by the MASTER Security Scheme – the UK’s official anti-theft marking system, which many major UK manufactures fit to new machines. Non marked bikes can be worth up to £15,000 and can be broken down into parts and re-sold. These are usually stolen by being lifted into the back of vans or sometimes by using another scooter in a method called ‘ped-push’.
Bikes which are unlocked are more likely to be stolen that those which are well secured. Fitting a security marking system makes bikes less attractive to steal and easier to recover.