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Central bicycle ownership database now live in Belgium in hopes to combat theft

15 days ago

3 minutes

MyBike has gone live in conjunction with National Week of Action against Bicycle Theft, as part of government efforts to improve the problem of bicycle theft

Source: VRT NWS, TheMayor.eu

The MyBike system’s key feature is a tamper-proof QR code sticker is resistant to tearing, UV light and weathering, and is paired with a central registry database. Cyclists sign up on the official website, create their entry and will be sent the authentic sticker. Having run successfully with 50,000 participants in Brussels for the past few years, the scheme is now expanded nationally to Flanders and Wallonia.

If a bicycle is stolen, registrants can efficiently report this to MyBike, and at the same time police can easily check by scanning QR codes to see if a bicycle is one that is reported as stolen. This adds extra peace of mind and security to second hand bicycle sales, where buyers can be assured that they are not purchasing stolen goods.

Motivation for the database was partly down to the lack of information on bicycle thefts, with authorities putting numbers as high as 30,000 reported cases per year, with an estimated half of thefts going unreported.

Every Belgian will have access to a simple and modern system that deters thieves and makes it easier for the police and others to identify a stolen bike,” says Belgian mobility minister Georges Gilkinet, as quoted by VRT.

“This ensures that the handling of bicycle theft reports is easier, both for residents and for the police services,” adds Minister of the Interior Annelies Verlinden (CD&V).

Brussels Minister of Mobility Elke Van den Brandt (Green) spoke on the operation so far in Brussels: “There are already more than 50,000 registered bicycles on ‘MyBike.Brussels’, and more are still being added. more bicycles have been recovered. I am therefore very pleased that this successful system will be expanded to the rest of the country.”

The Cyclists’ Union also welcomes the fact that the system is now also being rolled out in Flanders and Wallonia. “This is a huge progress in the fight against bicycle theft.”

The go-live date for the register coincided with the launch of the first National Action Week Against Bicycle Theft, which authorities hope will raise awareness about this crime and what tools citizens have at their disposal to fight it. The slogan for this first edition is ‘Every link counts’. The organizers would like to point out that cyclists themselves as well as witnesses, community guards and prevention advisors can contribute.

As part of the National Action Week, the government also points out the dangers of sports applications . “We recommend that you look carefully at the privacy settings of those apps,” says Michiel Praet of FPS Home Affairs, who coordinates the action week.

“We see that bicycle thieves increasingly consult sports apps to look for targets, for example by looking at where a ride has ended. They can also deduce from this that it is a more expensive bicycle, such as a racing bike or mountain bike. As a user, you can set privacy zones, ensure that only friends can see your route, not take photos of your bike, and, for example, only start the app after a kilometer, so that thieves do not see where you live.”

 

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