Bicyle theft causes serious social damage

  • Soort:Nieuws Fietsberaad
  • Datum:15-05-2014

Every year in the Netherlands, around 600,000 bicycles undergo an ‘involuntary&' change of ownership. Not just individual cases. According to the RAI (Rijwiel en Automobiel Instituut – Dutch Bicycle and Automobile Institute), serious, well-organised gangs are at work, stealing dozens of bikes at the same time.&

To calculate the total damage the RAI multiplied this figure by the average selling price for a new bike: € 989 from the specialist dealer. Bicycle theft causes considerable social damage. A Master Plan Bicycle Theft 2014 – 2017 has been drawn up to reduce the number of thefts significantly in the coming years. Parties from the private and the public sector will work together in carrying out the plan.

The Master Plan has three central themes:
Physical prevention, identification & registration and location and enforcement.
Prevention is focusing on better parking facilities and the use of certified bicycle locks.

In the area of identification and registration, attention is being paid to the effective use of theft data, to identifying and recognising unique bike features (like the frame number). Efforts will also be made to improve information to and from consumers, for instance by introducing a ‘bicycle passport’. Location and enforcement will focus on optimising and implementation of the process of finding stolen bikes.

One of the initiatives which has proved quite successful so far is the so-called ‘lokfiets’ (a bicycle left by undercover police with the intention of catching the thief). These bikes and their locks were made available by various members of the RAI and have been equipped with a so-called ‘track&trace‘ system.
Last year, these undercover bikes were used 800 times. In two-thirds of the cases, the thief was apprehended. In the first quarter of 2014, another 152 thieves were caught in this way.

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Bicyle theft causes serious social damage

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