France considering Bike (frame) registration to combat theft

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France considering Bike (frame) registration to combat theft

Postby AUbicycles » Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:44 pm

Careful wording of the title because the bike registration is a proposed nation scheme to register bikes into a database to combat theft.

Story: Guardian Newspaper
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/ ... ter-thefts

It is not that tired debate by anti-cyclists for bike rider registration that is intended to remove bike riders, instead this is intended to boost cycling.

Being national and not commercial is a plus as the various systems also used in Australia rely on additional police action or even equipment to process the tracking. This solution would be more accessible and consistent which also pushes the standardisation.

I remember standing in the line at my Police Station as a kid to get my bike engraved and get a flag.... lets bring this back and get the police more engaged in cycling.

Until then, I will engrave my own serial number into my carbon fibre frame :)

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Re: France considering Bike (frame) registration to combat theft

Postby AdelaidePeter » Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:58 am

AUbicycles wrote:Careful wording of the title because the bike registration is a proposed nation scheme to register bikes into a database to combat theft.

Story: Guardian Newspaper
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/ ... ter-thefts


This sounds a bit like what Denmark has: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danish_bicycle_VIN-system

AUbicycles wrote:I remember standing in the line at my Police Station as a kid to get my bike engraved and get a flag.... lets bring this back and get the police more engaged in cycling.


SA Police still do this from time to time. I didn't get a flag though :(

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Re: France considering Bike (frame) registration to combat theft

Postby macca33 » Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:02 am

The coppers do still run bike 'registration' and marking days and guess what, bugger all people show up....

Let's be honest, most people don't even record their bicycle serial numbers - even those who own high-end rigs - if the Australian Bicycle Vault and other mediums where thefts of bicycles are discussed is to be taken at face value.
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Re: France considering Bike (frame) registration to combat theft

Postby hunch » Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:09 am

^^^Pretty sure it's still available in NSW too. Vaguely remember in the last decade or so northern beaches command doing something along those lines. Must say, if you've got a new bike, you'd think surely the serial # is sufficient....I like to keep that detail for the lifetime :lol: warranties and proof of ownership myself!

On a more local angle, a high profile bicycle rego and licensing advocate is likely to be elected in Wentworth this weekend, though doubt that populist rubbish would get any legislative traction in the federal sphere.

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Re: France considering Bike (frame) registration to combat theft

Postby Calvin27 » Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:33 am

I rekon markings and engravings do very little to combat bicycle theft. Most bikes don't get recovered and the ones that do usually displace losses from the thief to the buyer who loses a bke and their money.

We have been doing the same thing for years to no avail. Maybe it's time we switched to focusing on buyers. The key here is to focus on buyers and put pressure on higher standards of purchasing and this is where a national scheme comes into play.

I'll shamefully admit that my used bike purchases are based on price and character assessment only (possibly suburb lol) to determine if said bike is stolen. Even with stuff like bike vault and the like it's too cumbersome and doesn't offer enough coverage. With larger value purchases (or absolute cracker bargains) I will ask for proof of purchase and retain these when I buy the bike. To me the education of buyers is the missing piece.
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Re: France considering Bike (frame) registration to combat theft

Postby Toyopet » Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:16 pm

There's compulsory bicycle registration in Japan too. Ostensibly to track/prove ownership in case of theft. But it also allows councils to locate the owners of bikes which are illegally parked.

https://blog.gaijinpot.com/registering-used-bicycle-japan/

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Re: France considering Bike (frame) registration to combat theft

Postby AUbicycles » Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:11 pm

I understand in Japan that bicycle theft rates are fantastically low - it is generally not in the culture of the Japanese to steal another persons bicycle.

A sensible starting place could actually be the bike shop... imagine them asking each customer "Would you like us engrave your bike with a serial number for free?" Great for customer service and on the handbook the customer gets the number and has the reference.

But a very real approach is for brands to do it and include this as a stronger mark of quality with the effect of providing better accountability for owners. What if the bike shop then recorded the owners name and the serial number - a nice service that takes the burden off the customer. I have a barcode on my carbon fiber bike... I should write down the number!



An interesting question - do bike shops benefit from theft? If it is in their interest to turn a blind eye to theft because it leads to more sales of new bikes, this could limit their 'enthusiasm' for adopting. Continuing this line of thought - servicing is becoming increasingly important for bike shops for revenue with increased online competition - so perhaps now, helping prevent theft is a good thing.

--

Regarding the deterrent of a serial number against theft... this can rely on how important it is for buyers to check on a serial number. For cash in hand sales where the ownership can't simply be verified then it is not a deterrent. But if you could, as a buyer, see that the serial number has been erased or that the serial number gives you an alert that it is stolen... this is where it can start helping.

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Re: France considering Bike (frame) registration to combat theft

Postby Jmuzz » Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:17 pm

I think a smartchip sticker would be sensible.
These are impossible to clone (if done properly, there are poor implementations based on older rolling code techniques) and cost under $1 in bulk.

Phones with NFC to interact with them are common and cheap enough these days for every shop and many police to have one.

It wouldn't be a big burden to require every bike frame to be fitted with the smart tag and require all secondhand sales to lodge a change of ownership through the website.

Won't help at all for bikes being parted out. Besides the low chance police might scan during the getaway.
But that doesn't really apply to commuter bikes which barely have enough parts value to be worth the effort of stealing.

As bikes get more common (hopefully) and bought and sold in higher volumes which make it super easy to move stollen alloy bikes I think the theft market does need to be managed and a $5 security tag tax is worth it.

The problem with Bike Vault is that too few use it, and it's subject to a private company which can shutdown.
When it is mandatory to use it becomes near impossible to sell a hot frame or cheap bike which isn't worth stripping.

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Re: France considering Bike (frame) registration to combat theft

Postby Tamiya » Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:06 pm

Umm... afaik nearly all bikes already HAVE a serial number on the frame!

But it's one thing to have them numbered; how can you ID a bike easily whilst it's riding past you... billboard sized number plate?!? :P

RFID grains might only last so long... if it's your dog they also tattoo the ear I think, whereas how will you mark the bike vs where would hide the chip where it can't be destroyed.

Not too long ago there was a push for MicroDots, these get sprayed onto your belongings and they can be read by scanner - same idea just 1000s of particles vs 1 RFID chip, harder to destroy the tagging.

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Re: France considering Bike (frame) registration to combat theft

Postby fat and old » Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:47 pm

it is generally not in the culture of the Japanese to steal another persons bicycle.


The Japanese have an old culture of responsibility based on the likelihood of death if you stepped out of line. People can bag martial punishment all they like. It works, way beyond the actual punishment into real deterrence and respect for others

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Re: France considering Bike (frame) registration to combat theft

Postby human909 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:36 am

fat and old wrote:
it is generally not in the culture of the Japanese to steal another persons bicycle.


The Japanese have an old culture of responsibility based on the likelihood of death if you stepped out of line. People can bag martial punishment all they like. It works, way beyond the actual punishment into real deterrence and respect for others


Martial punishment? Your vocabulary seems to extend beyond mine, and my brief google search. Or do you mean capital punishment? Either way your comments really are not well supported by evidence. And plenty of European past societies had strong and harsh punishments too. To claim that a culture of real respect and politeness grows out of strong and harsh punishment for transgression is a little rich.

When it comes to petty theft Australia is pretty good. Australia has a very low rate of bike theft compared to most of Europe. Netherlands, France, UK, etc. Petty theft is generally higher all over Europe. Even simple things like leaving you phone on the table in a cafe in Australia while you eat is not a normal thing, foreigners often look at such behavior as inviting theft.


But I would be the first to agree that Japan is unique. Travel the world and the basic mechanics society aren't too much different, just different cultures and different views but underneath there is commonality. IMO Japanese society is vastly different.

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Re: France considering Bike (frame) registration to combat theft

Postby Jmuzz » Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:13 pm

Tamiya wrote:Umm... afaik nearly all bikes already HAVE a serial number on the frame!


Often just a sticker which falls off and can be forged and lacks any real database of ownership history.
With no standard system a fake sticker over engraving looks legit.

RFID grains might only last so long... if it's your dog they also tattoo the ear I think, whereas how will you mark the bike vs where would hide the chip where it can't be destroyed.


A chip lasts virtually forever, not talking about 20 year old dog chip tech in an organic environment which rejects it or moves.

If someone destroyed the chip it's like destroying the VIN number on a car, it's unsellable.
Except that a modern chip can't be faked unlike stamped/routed metal vin numbers.
The most you can do is rebirth a destroyed frame, which is a far smaller market especially for commuter bikes which aren't worth the time to rebuild.

It would be crazy not to use modern NFC encryption and online verification in any system these days.

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Re: France considering Bike (frame) registration to combat theft

Postby AUbicycles » Tue Oct 23, 2018 3:28 am

Implementation is a cost and logistical challenge. And police knowing what to look for and having the equipment is also a consideration.

Some thieves palm bikes off well below their value, just to get a few notes in their hands and the buyers are complicit then this limits the security.

But when theft prevention is large scale and standardised, it becomes more useful.

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Re: France considering Bike (frame) registration to combat theft

Postby human909 » Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:34 pm

From my limited understanding what Jmuzz describes makes alot of sense. But the key thing is why start with bicycles and why stop there? Mobile phones, laptops and other high value personal items could benefit just as much.

This isn't a bicycle problem this is a theft problem. And really if the need is there then it could be considered.
(I'm not sure the need is there in Australia. Petty theft is far less common here than elsewhere.)

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Re: France considering Bike (frame) registration to combat theft

Postby BJL » Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:04 pm

Tamiya wrote:
RFID grains might only last so long... if it's your dog they also tattoo the ear I think, whereas how will you mark the bike vs where would hide the chip where it can't be destroyed.



The tattoo in a dogs ear is done when dogs are fixed. The microchip is another thing.

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Re: France considering Bike (frame) registration to combat theft

Postby Thoglette » Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:04 pm

human909 wrote:This isn't a bicycle problem this is a theft problem.


+1 At least the French police are (theortically) going to care. Or perhaps they'll just fine people riding unregistered bikes (perhaps it could be called Operation Pierre?)
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Re: France considering Bike (frame) registration to combat theft

Postby Jmuzz » Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:51 pm

AUbicycles wrote:Implementation is a cost and logistical challenge. And police knowing what to look for and having the equipment is also a consideration.
.


It's just off the shelf phones, can get NFC capable for $100. Though when it holds a confidential app with security access the only choice is the Samsung's with Knox.

NSW train/bus ticket inspectors use standard Samsung phones to scan Opal cards to check you have tapped on.

Smart system, no special expensive terminals needed just standard phones which also multitask as the officers communication and camera device.

Apple are a pain, they have the chip but refuse to allow it to work for anything besides Apple Pay and a few others.
But just don't support Apple, government making inhouse apps shouldnt be wasting time supporting both Apple and Android anyway.
Android is the obvious winner because the phones are so much cheaper. We are giving $30 throwaway Androids from Coles to service technicians to interface with Bluetooth diagnostics in machines now rather than all the hassles of laptops.

A scan and online lodgement (all through the app) to transfer ownership or take into pawn.
Police would only scan when they raid pawn shops and when they get the junkies to turn out their pockets.
But just that makes it a lot harder to move stollen bikes and allows buyers to buy with confidence that they aren't supporting theft.

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Re: France considering Bike (frame) registration to combat theft

Postby AUbicycles » Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:05 pm

Jmuzz wrote:It's just off the shelf phones


With the long answer (thanks) I think this revealed how difficult it can be. I have met with a few different providers of bike security. One required a special / expensive device let alone that the police would even consider that this hidden security measure with only limited market penetration was used.

You have covered the challenges of phones - should an officer use their private phone because the equipment issues just doesn't cut it. That's a big discussion there.

And finally - how much effort is a police officer willing to invest. Sometimes enough ( I get requests from law enforcement to help identify bikes / find owners). Sometimes there can be security marking but when there is no interest/time - then there is no followup and the bikes are eventually auctioned.

There are some good ideas - for a bike owner, prevention is the most effective approach and otherwise a registration system that gains the critical mass.

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Re: France considering Bike (frame) registration to combat theft

Postby antigee » Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:58 pm

the Guardian article linked by adelaidepete has some relevant stats:

"The French cycling association VéloPerdu (LostBike) says almost 1,100 bicycles are stolen each day in France – a total of 400,000 a year. There are an estimated 21m bicycles in France.

In the UK, 686,000 bicycles are reportedly stolen each year from an estimated pool of 22m."


this compares to less than 10,000 bicycle thefts in 2017 in Victoria (multiply up for Aus' I guess but its not comparable)

source: https://www.bicyclenetwork.com.au/newsr ... t-tracked/

Being a pom my experience in UK is that cycle theft is organised crime (mainly) as well as opportunist or drug related - the challenge in my opinion isn't tracking random stolen bikes but stopping a market being created and closing down the organised operators

interesting piece byjmuzz thanks

note french bike thieves are far less productive than UK ones - that's the EU working time directive for you ;-)

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Re: France considering Bike (frame) registration to combat theft

Postby RobertL » Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:26 pm

AUbicycles wrote:You have covered the challenges of phones - should an officer use their private phone because the equipment issues just doesn't cut it. That's a big discussion there.


I know that Qld police now all use their smart phones for recording interviews. They don't bother with those fancy desk mounted recording machines that you see on TV any more, so there is some sort of precedent for using their own equipment.
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Re: France considering Bike (frame) registration to combat theft

Postby AUbicycles » Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:21 pm

antigee wrote:Being a pom my experience in UK is that cycle theft is organised crime (mainly) as well as opportunist or drug related - the challenge in my opinion isn't tracking random stolen bikes but stopping a market being created and closing down the organised operators.


While there is a raging debate whether the UK belongs to Europe - this is correct, across Europe, bike are collected and make their way into Eastern Europe. I understand that Lithuania is one of the main destinations. After being stolen (in grand style), the bikes make it to a collection area - usually in an industrial area and behind the gates you will see thousands of bikes. Small minivans regularly take loads across and the customs laws make it hard for Police to be able to stop vehicles and let alone make an accusation that they are stolen. The bikes end up at markets and with other 'dealers' and the prices are low - but still good for their standards that it remains a viable (criminal) business.

In Australia it is tough to understand how it works. The opportunity thieves make up a good portion and a lot are from small-time criminals or junkies who want to make a quick dollar - so could sell a $2000 bike for $60 or $80 to the next person.

For the larger scale theft, there was a trend in shipping stolen bikes to other states. The Police jurisdictions means that tracking a bike interstate easily gets unstuck. Unfortunately I don't know as much as I would like to know and put in formal request with the police for interviews and for data though these simply get ignored or rejected. Not big-enough an issue.

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Re: France considering Bike (frame) registration to combat theft

Postby terryc » Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:01 pm

My 2c is that the only way this is going to work as theft prevention is the way many "criminals" get caught now, i.e goods are recognised as stolen by police when they come across a suspicious item/person.

It needs to be driven by insurance company requiring bicycles above a certain value to have a standardised identification feature, Whether it is a serial number in a highly and easily visible place, and/or rfid lacquered under paintwork, or similar and proof of registration with Police database or what ever.

Then when ever police come across a bicycle with reason to suspect, as suggested it is scanned by mobile phone app*, which check the registered detail for owner.

Trouble one; scope expands to requiring everyone to carry photo identification to keep riding their bicycle.
Trouble two; IT security is very chronic in general and the database will provide directories of normal place of storage of some nice, expensive bikes.

Trouble three; comes from the use of mobile phone technology and to link in a previous post by some one, I'm not fussed on Android mobile phones either as Google log everything they can and it won't be long before they link your bicycle(s) to the other data they have on you and leak that information.

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Re: France considering Bike (frame) registration to combat theft

Postby Jmuzz » Fri Oct 26, 2018 7:48 am

terryc wrote:Trouble one; scope expands to requiring everyone to carry photo identification to keep riding their bicycle.


That's already obsolete to phone apps too.
NSW is trialling phone based license now, police version of the app is going to be able to pull up anyones photo on the spot to verify they aren't being given a fake name.

NSW police are already doing everything via their personal property phone, the radio network is insecure so they are using phone and SMS as "secure" line instead. Emails from phone. Voice recordings on phone. Photos on phone.

It's too late, the phones are already seeing everything.

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Re: France considering Bike (frame) registration to combat theft

Postby kb » Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:48 pm

BJL wrote:
Tamiya wrote:
RFID grains might only last so long... if it's your dog they also tattoo the ear I think, whereas how will you mark the bike vs where would hide the chip where it can't be destroyed.



The tattoo in a dogs ear is done when dogs are fixed. The microchip is another thing.

So maybe just tatts for fixed bikes ;-)
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Re: France considering Bike (frame) registration to combat theft

Postby djw47 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:58 pm

They'll need to take my bike from my cold, dead hands before I let a cop near my lovely carbon fibre frame with an electric engraving machine.
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