Does anyone have experience with Bike Registration companies....
Registering your bike to a central database in case it is stolen.
Anybody recommend any companies...?
I've only used Bike Register. I got their silver kit, where they provide a UV paint to permanently mark the bike. It was easy to do and didn't take too long. As for recovering bikes I haven't had any experience (and hopefully I won't need to! - touch wood...)
I use immobilise.com as recommended by our local force. Can't comment on its efficacy as I have never had cause to use it in anger but it is apparently connected to the police national database.
Durham Constabulary are working with retailers to have every bike sold in the county registered with a scheme (which for the life of me I can't remember its name but it has microdots with a unique PIN on it which can be read electronically by a handheld bit of tech) for free or £10 on an old bike. The idea being the bike & its components get a microdot & then even if it is broken up after being stolen it can still be traced back to you.
From discussions with Durham it is important that for any system to be effective your local force have to 'recognise' the scheme, know where to look on your bike for the data/have the equipment to read it and then know how to access the database.
ACPO approval/registration is just a brand, it doesn't mean your local force recognise it.
Avoid purely UV (criminals look for it and seek to remove it) and smartwater as it can take weeks to get a response, which is no good when they've stopped someone on what they suspect is a stolen bike. Durham have had problems with liquid systems that have interacted with paint and caused damage to the frame, which is why they are going with microdots.
The Police would prefer it if manufactures all agreed on one system & fitted to all bikes.
Thanks Tarquin I might look into that soon.
I have registered my bikes on http://www.bikeshepherd.org/
You get some stickers with unique QR codes to stick on your bike which are really hard to get off apparently and can be scanned using a smart phone to view a picture of the bike and if it is stolen etc.
The Met police do free bike marking - you get a UV etched number on the frame, a sticker to put on if you want to advertise the fact that it's marked and registration on bikeregister that includes a photo upload(I think it's usually about a tenner).
I presume that since they run the system, they will also use Bikeregister to reunite any recovered bikes with their rightful owners.
Just bumping this thread, as I was about to post a very similar question. I've gradually been getting my bikes tagged with the UV paint kit used by Bike Register, as they occasionally do free marking sessions where I work. I've wondered whether it'd be worth adding my bikes to other registers too. The local Police here (Devon and Cornwall) seem to recommend Bike Register, but if my bike was stolen and turned up somewhere else where another of the registers is preferred are they going to bother checking the frame number on Bike Register (assuming the thieves would have removed the stickers and tried to get the UV marking off)? Bike Register and Bike Shepherd seem to be the most widely used, but are there any others out there worth looking at?