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Motorcycle theft on the rise

Date: 14 March 2016

Stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) expert, TRACKER, is urging motorbike owners to take greater steps to protect their vehicles, as the latest Home Office Crime Report* announces that motorcycle theft is on the rise across the UK.  
Whilst vehicle crime remains at a historically low level, there are signs that the downward trend may be slowing.  Andy Barrs, Head of Police Liaison at TRACKER (part of the Tantalum Corporation) explains; “The latest Police Recorded Crime statistics for England and Wales showed a 3% rise in ‘theft of vehicles’, for the year to June 2015, the first rise in two decades. This increase appears to be due to an increase in stolen scooters and motorcycles, which have become increasingly attractive to thieves and joy riders - particularly young offenders - as sophisticated security on cars acts as a deterrent.”

The Home Office Report highlights figures from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) that suggest a 44% increase in motorbike theft in London.  The MPS reported that there were 1,240 recorded crimes in London in which suspects rode mopeds or motorbikes, during the 12 months to February 2015.  The Report also notes separate but unpublished analysis by the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMIF) using data from the Police National Computer, that looked at the whole of England and Wales, which also suggests a rise in motorcycle thefts.
Continues Andy Barrs:  “It’s clear from the latest data that motorbikes and scooters are an increasing target for opportunistic thieves, such as joyriders. The Home Office Report concludes that many criminals are choosing to take motorcycles because cars are simply too difficult to steal, thanks to improved security systems.
“Unsurprisingly, the Report also concludes that methods for better protecting motorbikes should be a priority if the long-standing decline in vehicle crime is to continue.  This is where TRACKER’s award winning SVR solutions can play a vital role in addressing the problem.  Whilst our tracking devices will not prevent a bike from being stolen, they will significantly increase the chances of police locating and retrieving the bike before it’s broken down for parts.”

Specially developed to protect unpowered or infrequently used assets to avoid draining the battery, Battery Powered TRACKER Retrieve has its own power source and does not need to be wired into the electrical system of a vehicle, making it ideal for motorcycles, including vintage bikes. 
Using patented VHF technology it can track stolen motorcycles and scooters, even if they are hidden in containers, lock-ups or underground car parks. The high tech tracking technology is not stopped by GPS/GSM signal jammers and the signal can be picked up throughout the UK, as well as France, Spain, Poland, Holland, Luxembourg and Italy - perfect for those planning a summertime ride across Europe.
 *Reducing criminal opportunity: vehicle security and vehicle crime Research Report 87, January 2016
TRACKER’s Top Tips for Motorcycle Security:
  • Motorbike Locks
Always secure chain locks of cable locks to an immovable object, such as a lamp post.  Always try to thread the chain or cable through the bike frame.  
  • Motorbike Alarms and Immobilisers
A quality Thatcham approved, professionally fitted alarm system will not only deter a thief, but could also reduce insurance premiums. It’s crucial to get it fitted by a factory trained technician as modern bikes are sensitive to poorly fitted alarms.
  • Mark Your Motorcycle
Using a simple UV pen, mark parts of the motorcycle with the VIN (vehicle identification number), vehicle registration and postcode. Alternatively invest in an identification system such as Datatag.
  • Remove Equipment
As an added guard, remove the spark plug or HT cap.
  • Be Seen!
Always park the bike where it can be seen, day or night, by passers-by.
  • Use Different Parking Spots
Try to vary the places you park - sophisticated thieves will study parking habits and routines before making a theft.
  • Use Public Secure Parking
  • Most cities will have a secure parking area for motorcycles with fixed security hoops for locking chains to - use them.
  • Garage
    If you have a garage, use it.  Always put the bike away immediately and make sure the garage is properly secure.  Consider putting in a ground anchor in the garage to lock the bike to.
  • If You Love it, Track It…
Invest in a stolen vehicle recovery system and be sure to choose one that is used by all UK police forces.  You could also reduce insurance premiums.

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