LCC to meet with Gumtree to discuss how to fight online sales of stolen bikes

Secondhand goods website responds to LCC's invitation under Beat The Thief initiative

by Simon_MacMichael   June 1, 2010  

Beat the thief logo

The London Cycling Campaign (LCC) is due to meet representatives of Gumtree, the website specialising among other things in the sale of second-hand goods, to discuss how to combat the problem of stolen bicycles being sold on the internet.

The meeting, reported on the LCC website, follows an invitation extended last month from LCC Chief Executive Koy Thomson to Gumtree and online auction giant eBay to review how the websites can help tackle the issue as part of the cycling campaign group’s Beat The Thief initiative.

LCC has previously highlighted a number of measures that it believes would reduce the number of stolen bikes being resold through online channels such as eBay and Gumtree, including:

  • “Adding a field for the frame number on web listings to discourage thieves
  • Demanding genuine photos, preventing vendors from disguising bikes with generic pictures
  • Stricter rules for vendor identification based on a verifiable name and address
  • A commitment to rapid and effective response times from websites to police enquiries
  • Pro-active investigations by website owners, feeding suspicious listings to police.”

Mr Thomson said: "We've proposed quick and low-cost measures that websites can put in place to discourage dishonest vendors.

"We want buyers and police to able to clearly see who's open and upfront about who they are and what they're selling, which should help weed out the rogue sellers."

Meanwhile, eBay has said that it is determined to stamp out the sale of stolen bicycles through its site, with a spokesperson telling “eBay is in discussions with the London Cycling Campaign and we welcome any initiative that helps to prevent the resale of stolen items and encourages safe and open transactions."

The spokesperson continued: "We encourage all of our sellers to include as much detail as possible in both their listing and photographs and we will continue to work closely with law enforcement agencies to ensure that people cannot and do not get away with any illegal activity on our site.”