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Bike thefts creeping up

Published: 14 October 2001

Updated: 19 November 2014

MOTORCYCLE security products may have improved recently and the manufacturers may have developed anti-theft features for more new machines than ever, but somehow we’re still losing the battle against thieves.

Latest figures from Scotland Yard’s stolen vehicle squad show that thefts have risen by four per cent since June. It means the number of bikes stolen and not recovered in the last four years has reached 99,749

Though the increase may seem small, industry insiders see it as a massive disappointment, especially since it follows commitments made 18 months ago by the Government’s Vehicle Crime Reduction Action Team (VCRAT) to help reduce bike thefts.

Frank Finch, motorcycle director for the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI), said: " It is a let-down in that respect. The initial focus of VCRAT seems to have been on cars. But we are now getting a lot more support from them in tackling motorcycle theft. "

Despite their efforts to deter thieves with features such as Honda’s Ignition Security System (HISS), Finch also thinks the manufacturers could do a lot more.

" Marking systems such as SmartWater and Datatag are a big help for police when they’re trying to identify who a stolen machine belongs to. But they won’t stop someone slinging a bike in the back of a van. "

Ken German is in charge of Scotland Yard’s Vehicle Crime Squad. He reckons the biggest part of the problem is scooters left unsecured.

" Motorcycles only make up about 40 per cent of the problem, " he told MCN. " The other 60 per cent of stolen bikes are scooters. They’re often left with no security at all and stolen by opportunist kids. "

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