Downloads and sites to assist in bike security & bike recovery
1501 Social Media bike-theft dangers [particularly if you have a valuable/ high-end bike] [This article was originally based on a CCE forum discussion]. Many people are now sharing details of their bike rides via sites such as strava or flickr. This can mean that you are giving thieves a direct route to your (expensive?) bike [example1, example2]. To reduce risks, set privacy zones around home/work or other locations where your bike is stored. Advice on this from Strava is here. Also remember that electronic photos now often automatically store metadata (i.e. additional facts such as location) along with the photo; so a photo of your bike at home may locate it for thieves. There are apps to facilitate metadata removal/alteration – e.g. on Android like this and this – but perhaps best is not to upload pics directly from a mobile to public sites, but instead edit them first and save without metadata. If your bike is stolen see the web tools at 1305 below, as well of course as contacting the police.
1408 Police Bike Security Marking The police in Edinburgh organise occasional security marking sessions – sometimes free, sometimes charging £5. Following the creation of Police Scotland and the ending of Lothian and Borders Police [see 1305 & 1209 below] these sessions are no longer posted on the police website, so we cannot give a website to look up [they are sometimes announced on twitter by @EdinburghPolice and we will when possible link to that in ‘Events’ in the left column]. You can also ask the officer who deals with bike security when the next sessions will be: Victoria.Henretty@scotland.pnn.police.uk.
1403 Bike Shed Security Advice from Edinburgh Police. Also, our 2011 competition (‘My Cycling Solution’) included a prizewinning entry which gave detailed instructions for cheaply making it less easy to lever the hasp and hinges off from a door [pdf 153k].
1311 Local Policing Plans Under the Act creating Police Scotland [below] each local authority area must have a Local Policing Plan. The plan contains priorities for the area as a whole and for each Ward of each council.
The police are expected to consult on area and local priorities for each plan. The current Edinburgh 2014-2017 Local Policing Plan consultation includes a questionnaire, and drop-in sessions [pdf 191k] for each local area within the city. [2.12.13 Spokes LPP submission, pdf 188k]
The current 2013-2014 local policing plans are below. Road safety is a priority in all plans and in most wards, though with greater or lesser emphasis – you can help improve this in future plans by participating in your local consultation.
1306 Web tools to register bikes, find stolen bikes and check second-hand bikes. It may be worth trying more than one of the sites – and some of the sites are only geared to some of the above purposes.
1209 Bike Security Marking Periodically the police run bike security-marking sessions, using BikeRegister.com [below]. These sessions are now always to be listed at www.lbp.police.uk/crime_prevention/cycle_marking_events.aspx. They will also be announced on police twitter and we’ll try to include any major initiatives in our Events column [left side of this page]. Otherwise, contact Lothian and Borders police at 0131.311.3131.
1204 BikeRegister.com Lothian & Borders police recommend registering your bike with BikeRegister.com. Over 1000 Edinburgh bikes are registered, it is used by Transport for London and the Met police and it has 200,000 registrations UK-wide. Bike registration is free – additional security levels/products can be bought on the site. L&B police have provided instructions for registering your bike free on the site [pdf 80k]. [We found it easier to start by clicking the ‘shop’ tab, which takes you direct to the end of step 2 of the instructions]. When registering, check your bike against this police list of bike components [pdf 712k] – but frame number is the single most important item.
1110 Edinburgh Council bike security advice – includes various downloads [Home Office advice; list of certified bike locks, etc]
0812 L&B Police Bicycle Home Security Leaflet [doc 2528K] – advice on securing your bike at home and elsewhere. This leaflet dates from 2008 and has been superceded by the 1204 entry above.