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New scheme aims to stop bike thieves using phones and Facebook

Company hopes to eventually have details of every bike in the UK

A new online bicycle registration service has been launched in the UK that harnesses tagging technology to scan and report stolen bikes that have been marked with an anti-theft tag, using smartphones such as the Apple iPhone.

The Bike Revolution website allows cyclists to register their bikes with the service and obtain the Pulse ID tag and smartphone app that sit at the heart of the system. The app allows you to scan bikes and the tag will reveal whether they have been stolen.

The service, which is free to use, has been developed by security company Bike Revolution, which has ambitious plans to eventually register every bicycle in the UK under the scheme, which allows users to check the status of suspect bikes by and, if appropriate, report it.

Should the worst happen, it also enables users to quickly flag their bikes as stolen, and alerts are then sent to what Bike Revolution describes as “the growing army of bike detectives” who follow it on social networks Facebook and Twitter. Alerts are also sent to bike shops, the police, cycling clubs and school security offices.

The company, which has been set up on a non-profit basis, aims to have half the bikes in the UK registered by 2012 and 90% by 2015, and says that a high level of adoption of the scheme would in itself help combat bike theft, since security tagged bikes are more difficult than unmarked ones for thieves to dispose of.

It says its tags, currently available through its website at a discounted price of £7.95, are tamper-proof and link the bike with its owner on a secure database.

The scheme follows similar initiatives in the United States and in Norway, where a paid-for programme is said to have resulted in a 50% reduction in bike theft since it started.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Immobilise | 13 years ago

No doubt many users of this site already aware, but the UK already has a National Police Recognised Property register that amongst other property types, is specifically designed for the pre theft/loss recording of bikes. The Immobilise National Property Register ( was launch in 2003 with the support of the Home Office, Police and Retailers and today has many millions of registered members.

The immobilise system is linked to the Police NMPR ( which is used by many thousands of officers all over the UK (20,000 in the MET alone!), so when property including bikes is recovered the police are able to quickly identify the owner and crime for further investigation and prosecution.

Immobilise is free for the public to register, although you do not need any type of additional device many bike owners prefer to take additional precautionary steps – Immobilise offers an RF tagging option known as ImmobiTag, that again is support and often promoted by police though out the UK at marking events, details are available at the site. Immobilise is about reducing property crime, so we welcome any other initiative to help that cause.

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