A new website is trying to address the problem of motorbike theft in the UK by allowing the victims of bike crime to post the details online.
The site, called Bikersunited.co.uk, also lets users post any suspicious behaviour they’ve seen in an area to alert others. It was founded by Ben Cope who wanted to empower bikers to do more about bike crime.
"If your bike gets stolen, it’s just the worst feeling in the world," explains Cope. "You report it to the police but what do you do next? Posting it on social media is fine, but if you don’t have much of a following it can just get lost in the noise online and that can feel really frustrating."
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Users can post details and pictures of their bike on the site along with the date, time and place it was taken. Others can see the posts and keep a look out, but Cope hopes that the site will also encourage better bike security.
"Bikers can do more themselves to keep their bikes secure. If you leave your bike outside your house overnight on the steering lock, you shouldn’t be surprised to have it stolen. You wouldn’t leave a Rolex tied to a lamp post overnight and expect it to be there in the morning, so why a bike?"
By raising awareness of crime happening in people’s local area, the site will lead to more people protecting their bike more thoroughly."
'If you had a notification the day before saying that a bike had been stolen half a mile away, it might encourage you to put it back in the garage'
"The next step is for users to be able to sign-up with their postcode and set a radius to be alerted of activity, whether that’s a bike stolen or suspicious behaviour. I think it will help people not to be complacent.
"We’ve all washed the bike on the drive, left it there looking great and gone into make some lunch. But in that time, someone could have come along in a van and lifted it. If you had a notification the day before saying that a bike had been stolen half a mile away, it might encourage you to put it back in the garage."
Bikers United has already attracted attention, with 35 stolen bikes posted and 4000 visits in the first week, and Cope is pleased with the way it has been received so far.
"There’s been loads of goodwill and I’ve had a lot of emails with suggestions for things the site could do. I think that if we all work together and do our little bit we’ll take back a bit more control.
"Do I think it’s going to solve bike crime? No. But I believe that it will help to make more people aware and retain people in biking because they haven’t had their bike stolen."
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