London's Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) have awarded a security marking contract to BikeRegister as part of their push to deter cycle theft - which is down five percent since last year - and encourage cycling.
Over the past 12 months, the MPS's Cycle Task Force division (CTF) have marked 12,000 bikes with BikeRegister. The system, endorsed and promoted by the MPS, entails a physical marking of the bike with an indelible stencil etching, a deterrent warning sticker to indicate this has been done and online registration of the owner identifying him with the unique marking code.
The system normally retails for £14.95 but CTF are marking bikes for free at a number of forthcoming events.
A BikeRegister spokesperson told BikeRadar what they believed were the reasons for the police seal of approval:
"Bike frame numbers are not always easily visible nor unique to a particular bike – the BikeRegister marking is. It also enables police officers to do on the spot checks whilst on the beat if they are suspicious about the ownership of a particular bike – they can check the online database details and have the name of the legal owner within minutes, much as they do when stopping drivers of motor vehicles.
"MPS particularly like this system as it means they don't need to carry scanners as extra equipment – which they would need for some other security systems, for example those relying on RFID (radio frequency identification) tags."
The Cycle Task Force division is funded by Transport for London and one of its other major campaigns is Exchanging Places, which organises events allowing members of the public to take the seat of an HGV or bus to appreciate just what the driver of such vehicles can and can't see in their rear view mirrors.
BikeRegister is a brand name of SelectaMark, property marking and tagging specialists, whose products uniquely mark and register up to 30 million items of property a year throughout UK.