Make frame numbers of stolen bikes searchable
  • Petitioning Chief Constables

This petition will be delivered to:

UK Police Forces
Chief Constables

Make frame numbers of stolen bikes searchable

    1. John Moss
    2. Petition by

      John Moss

      Leicester, United Kingdom

over 536,000 bikes are stolen every year totalling an annual cost to cyclists £140 million with a current recovery rate less than 4%.

If the police release the frame numbers of bikes reported to them as stolen for general searches, it will go a long way in stopping the trade of stolen bikes. It would also drastically increase the risk for bike thieves attempting to sell stolen bikes. There have been petitions in the past calling on eBay to get frame numbers from people selling bikes but that won't help unless a list of stolen ones is also published for members of the public and large marketplaces like ebay to check frame numbers against.

Some police forces already release this information but they do it directly to a company called Immobilise, who then charge cyclists to check the frame numbers via their CheckMend service.

This seems wrong to me, it should be free for cyclists buying used bikes to check to see if what they are buying is stolen. I want the police to openly release this data ideally through the Police API, which would result in many developers creating free to use services to check it.

In the ideal world where everyone records their frame numbers and everyone checks them when buying used, this would virtually stop the trade in stolen bikes overnight.

This way of thinking has already had an impact in Canada, where it is completely free to check police records for a majority of stolen goods.

For this to happen each individual Police Forces Chief Constable needs to agree to supply the data. I'm already working with teams in the Home Office towards this goal and this petition gives me the ability to say that this is what cyclists want.

Many thanks for signing,
John Moss
Stolen Bikes UK

Recent signatures

    News

    1. A Year On... Where are we at?

      John Moss
      Petition Organizer

      It's been a year since this seemingly simple idea started to gain traction, so I thought I'd give you an update.

      FRAME NUMBER RELEASE
      Unfortunately the contacts I was relying on either left the police/home office or became unresponsive. It seems that this simple idea is not simple enough for our risk averse government bodies (although some individuals have been more than helpful).

      That said I haven't given up, I've taken on a specialist solicitor who is currently working to get the frame numbers from a particular police force released using new Freedom of Information laws. This effectively removes the decision from them which isn’t something I wanted to do but I don’t see another way of getting the data. The hope is that once the applicable laws have been demonstrated that other forces will see they either release the data voluntarily or they hand it over after a fight which I will happily provide.

      SERVICE
      I launched CheckThatBike! (www.checkthatbike.co.uk) as a demonstration of how frame numbers can be used and I’m happy to say in the six months it’s been running we’ve flagged 653 bikes (11% of the checks made) using data from industry sources such as ETA Insurance, Brompton, BikeShepherd and a few others.

      INDUSTRY VOTES
      I’ve thrown my hat into the ring for a major industry award and need your nomination, I hope by getting to the finals it will spur a bit of conversation about the changes that need to happen in order for bike theft to be meaningfully reduced.

      If you like what I do and what I stand for you can nominate me by emailing BikeBiz@intentmedia.co.uk. Make sure to mention that your nominating “John Moss of Stolen Bikes UK Ltd” for the “Cycling Advocacy” category.

      The finalists will be judged on level of publicity and campaign’s impact on cyclist and potential cyclists so if you can include details for why you feel I meet those requirements that would be fantastic (more information on what I do can be found at http://about.stolen-bikes.co.uk/vote/).

      Nominations need to be in by this Monday at 11:59pm so be quick.

      Many Thanks and Kind Regards,
      John Moss
      john@stolen-bikes.co.uk
      Founder of Stolen Bikes UK ltd

    2. Metropolitan Police

      John Moss
      Petition Organizer

      I've just got off the phone with the guy who could supply the data if he wanted to. If I can get a senior officer to ask him, he's agreed to supply it.

    3. Reached 5,000 signatures
    4. Open Data Institute & NESTA

      John Moss
      Petition Organizer

      The ODI and NESTA is working with me to formally draft a letter citing various legislation that says the data should be provided.

    5. A Midlands Police Force

      John Moss
      Petition Organizer

      An officer is trying to get me the data, so watch this space.

    6. Taking a week of leave, to work on this

      John Moss
      Petition Organizer

      I've booked some leave from work to follow up on a few leads with other police forces.

    7. Networking...

      John Moss
      Petition Organizer

      I'm currently in the process of contacting anyone I have met whilst working on Stolen Bikes UK, who may be able to help convince a police force to take the leap and release the data.

    8. Met Police claim lack of resources

      John Moss
      Petition Organizer

      The Metropolitan Police have raised an issue with lack of resource, I've addressed their concerns and am awaiting a second response.

      In the mean time I've contacted other police forces that seem more open to cycling and open data, so I hope that they may be able to help us demostrate just how useful releasing the information we are asking for is, should the Met Police let us down.

    9. Back to London

      John Moss
      Petition Organizer

      Early December I'll be back in London chasing the Met on releasing their data.

    10. TV and Radio!

      John Moss
      Petition Organizer

      Today I was on both the Radio (BBC West Midlands and BBC Shropshire) and TV (Inside Out - BBC WM) talking about bike theft and the effect it has on people.

    11. BBC Radio Interview

      John Moss
      Petition Organizer

      I will be speaking live to BBC West Midland's Mollie Green at around 9.30am on Sunday. To talk about the issue of bike theft.

    12. Success!

      John Moss
      Petition Organizer

      The idea has made it into a group that will receive help from the Home Office and Open Data Institute.

      Unfortunately I was let down with regards to the Met giving us access to frame numbers, so have contacted those involved to get an update from them.

    13. Reached 3,000 signatures
    14. Last 24 Hours

      John Moss
      Petition Organizer

      I'll be pitching this idea to the Open Data experts this weekend, if all goes well expect to see some rapid progress.

    15. Pitching idea to industry experts and possibly Met Police checks working

      John Moss
      Petition Organizer

      I'll be up in London on October the 12th to pitch the idea to some open data experts, the home office and other interested parties. I'm also hoping the the Met Police will enable me to check there database by this weekend.

    16. Submitted requests to police forces across the UK

      John Moss
      Petition Organizer

      Assisting the home office in establishing how different police forces document frame numbers of bikes stolen from them and hopefully speeding up the process of getting the information made public.

    17. Spoke to someone from the Home Office

      John Moss
      Petition Organizer

      Hoping to have at least one force on board by October.

    18. Reached 2,000 signatures
    19. Attending Sheffield Open Data Event

      John Moss
      Petition Organizer

      Members of the home office, other developers and open data people will be in attendance. Hopeful of discussing the petition further and making sure it's moving forward.

    20. Attended Meeting Progress Made

      John Moss
      Petition Organizer

      After attending the meeting in London, I've discovered that the Transparency Unit in the Home Office needs to put pressure on individual police chiefs. I'll be updating the petition to reflect these changes but it actually looks like this might happen if the correct pressure is applied.

    21. Reached 1,500 signatures
    22. Increased signature goal

      John Moss
      Petition Organizer

      Many thanks to those that have already signed, I've increased the signature goal as the more people that sign the better.

    23. Reached 750 signatures
    24. Attending Open Data Meeting

      John Moss
      Petition Organizer

      28th August - I will be attending an open data meeting help by Nesta and the Open Data Institute.

    25. Reached 100 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Stephen Boatright LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 10 days ago

      Because I have had bikes stolen and also buy bikes and I don't want stolen bikes in the system.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Karen McDonald MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 12 days ago

      Government wants us to cycle more, leave roads less congested, so we need support to keep our bikes from getting stolen and lost forever in the system.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • kATE Ware LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 25 days ago

      Because my bike was stolen and the police said there was nothing they can do. *SOB*

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Felix Graf CORK, IRELAND
      • about 1 month ago

      bike stolen. F31RMP5

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Georgina Barker BRISTOL, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 1 month ago

      My bike has recently been stolen, as have two others in my family in the past few years. Something needs to be done to stop this.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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