Tag Archive: theft

  1. Belgian regulatory changes look set to improve bicycle theft detection

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    Recent changes in legislation make it easier for police to use decoy bikes to tackle theft

    Source: TheMayor.eu

    In 2023 around 30,000 bicycles were reported stolen in Belgium, with the exact number of crime incidents believed to be higher, with most incidents remaining unsolved. Recently announced changes to legislation in Belgium have made it easier for police to use “bait bikes”, vehicles that can track down thieves and return the bikes to their rightful owners.

    Belgian Justice Minister Paul Van Tigchelt was interviewed by the Brussels Times and said the following “A stolen bike frustrates victims enormously. It also frustrates the police because it is very difficult to catch bicycle thieves in the act, with decoy bikes, we can do something about it.

    What are “bait bikes”?

    Equipped with a GPS tracker, they are anonymous and can be parked on any street to report to police as soon as a bike starts moving, who can easily follow where the vehicle is going.

    This crime-tackling method is not new, but before the changes in legislation, it was more difficult for police to use it because they had to prove that they were undertaking special organized crime operations to get authorization from the Public Prosecutor’s Office, as this action was categorized under special investigation methods. Now they do not have to go to those lengths to use a decoy bike, making the process more streamlined and easier for the police to track down thieves.

    It is expected to boost solvability for this crime and result in more perpetrators being punished (reportedly with fines of up to 400 euros if caught, and for repeat offenders it is less clear if they would receive a more serious punishment).

    With bait bikes being more commonly used by the police, it is hoped that it will serve as a preventive measure to put off thieves from committing the crime in the first place, as it would be difficult for them to know whether they’ll be on the radar of a decoy bike.

  2. E-bike owners often leave their bicycles at home for fear of theft

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    Source: Fietsberaad Crow

    Almost one-third of ANWB members who own an e-bike occasionally opted not to ride it due to theft concerns in 2023. This is twice the rate of non-electric bike owners. This insight stems from ANWB’s study involving over 1,400 members.

    The number of electric bike users among ANWB members has increased significantly in recent years. Over the past decade, there has been a nearly fivefold increase in e-bike ownership, from 9 percent in 2013 to 42 percent in 2023. Presently, the use of electric bikes (42 percent) nearly equals that of conventional bikes (46 percent).

    Fear of theft

    The surge in e-bike ownership is accompanies by a heightened apprehension about theft among riders. In 2018, 21 percent of respondents refrained from using their bike once to several times a month due to security concerns, this increased to 29 percent in 2023. Notably, over 30 percent of e-bike owners report leaving their bikes at home in 2023 due to theft fears, compared to 16 percent of regular bike owners. The primary reasons for abstaining from riding include heavy traffic at destinations and insufficient secure parking options. These issues are mentioned more frequently by e-bike owners than from ANWB members with a regular bike.

    Loss due to theft

    The risk of financial loss due to theft is also greater for e-bike owners, with 70 percent experiencing such losses compared to 62% among regular bike owners. Given the higher purchase cost of electric bikes (averaging €2,237 versus €750 for non-electric bikes), 69% of e-bike owners opt for insurance, compared to 22% among non-electric bike owners. Interestingly, emotional attachment to bikes appears stronger among regular bike owners, with 37% reporting to dread the emotional loss compared to 24% of e-cyclists.

    Safe Storage

    E-bike owners demonstrate a stronger inclination towards anti-theft measures than regular bike owners, securing their bikes significantly more often (71 percent versus 53 percent), employing 2 or more locks (67 percent versus 39 percent), and utilizing monitored bicycle sheds (49 percent versus 35 percent). Additionally, e-bikers are more likely to own connected bikes equipped with GPS tracking.

    Undesirable development

    According to the ANWB, the escalating fear of theft concerning, especially at a time when cycling on an e-bike is on the rise. The group advocates for safer bicycle storage options, advising cyclists to double lock their bikes and detach the battery when stored at home.

    Research

    This study marks the third time ANWB has investigated the impact of bicycle theft on usage, maintaining consistency in survey questions across 2013, 2018, and 2023 for comparative analysis.

  3. Wisper and BackPedal join forces to combat bike theft

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    Source: BikeBiz

    Wisper Electric Bikes has taken a significant step in enhancing bike security with its latest partnership with BackPedal. Effective immediately, Wisper Bikes will provide tracking, recovery, and insurance services integrated into its electric bike range.

    What sets Wisper Bikes apart is the incorporation of BackPedal’s cutting-edge tracker and alarm directly into the bike’s electric system. The tracker enables real-time monitoring of the bike’s location through a dedicated app. Additionally, riders can lock the bike via the app, triggering an alarm on their phone if the bike is tampered with.

    The tracker and alarm, seamlessly integrated into the bike’s battery, have a built-in battery backup. Even if the main battery is removed or the bike is turned off, the tracker continues to function for 21 days, automatically recharging when the bike is powered on again.

    In the unfortunate event of a theft, BackPedal’s trained recovery agents, boasting an impressive 85% retrieval rate and an average recovery time of 17 hours, utilize the tracker and Bluetooth beacon to locate and retrieve the stolen bike. Should recovery take longer than two weeks, the third component of this comprehensive system comes into play—insurance. BackPedal, in coordination with its insurance partner, ensures a brand-new Wisper bike is delivered to the user’s doorstep.

    David Miall, CEO of Wisper Bikes, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, stating, “We have been working on offering an affordable, comprehensive bike theft prevention system to our customers since 2020. Working with BackPedal, we believe we have at last found the perfect solution.” This collaboration not only reinforces Wisper Bikes’ commitment to customer security but also sets a new standard in the fight against bike theft.

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