Guest post by SW Asset Protection
Ramping up your Bike Security
If you’re reading this blog, then the chances are you already know about the problem of bike theft. 29,000 bikes were stolen last year in London alone, and even if you’ve been lucky enough to avoid it, in the time you take to finish this post another 2 will have gone. Yep, that’s one every 90 seconds. Which is great news for bike thieves and hooky buyers but obviously not so great if you’ve just lost your ride.
However, as bike crime is steadily climbing, so too are the ways to protect your bike. And fortunately the tools and technologies needed to keep thieves at bay are far more sophisticated than they used to be. From smart sensors to fingerprint recognition bike locks, bike security has come a long way from a piece of chain.
Lock, Stock and Barrel
You know the drill. Visit any website to find out how best to protect your bike and you’ll find advice telling you to use a lock. Unfortunately, whilst this is good common sense advice, there is a considerable disadvantage to relying on locks alone. Firstly, not only do you need to know which type of lock offers the best protection, but you also need to know how and where to place your lock for maximum security. A well-equipped professional thief has various options including lock picking, unbolting bike parts, and cutting through locks and chains quickly and discreetly. Secondly, there is the issue of cost. As with all things in life, you get what you pay for, and a cheap lock just won’t cut it. Ideally, you should spend the equivalent of around 10% of the value of your bike on a lock.
Good quality locks used properly can do a great job of protecting a bike, but here’s the bottom line. You need more than just a lock to stay safe.
Marking your bike with a unique identifier is a highly useful way of deterring criminals and offers an extra layer of protection. When so many bikes are stolen to order, a marked bike has a far lower resale value if it’s known to be traceable, and in the event that your bike is stolen, your chances of recovery are high.
There are numerous ways of marking your bike, but one of the more simple and cost-effective methods is to use SmartWater® forensic traceable liquid technology used to mark items of value.
Every bottle of SmartWater carries a unique forensic code registered to its owner, allowing the bike to be traced back to you in the event of theft. Easily applied, opaque and almost invisible in colour, SmartWater will last for up to five years and is virtually impossible to remove once applied. Capable of protecting around 25 bicycle components, such as front forks, suspension, wheels, handlebars and much more, stickers and signage are included. These are so easily recognisable to criminals, they act as a strong deterrent against theft in the first place. In the event that a thief is caught however, SmartWater will work on your behalf and have a 100% conviction rate in court.
To help in the fight against bike crime, SmartWater have also set-up sting operations using trap bikes. Each bike is marked with SmartWater so stolen trap bikes can be directly linked with the criminal. In Trafford and Salford where trap bikes were used by Greater Manchester Police, eight convictions have been made since January 2015, with three more awaiting court appearances. These types of operations make offenders aware that they face a far greater risk of prosecution if they attempt to commit bike theft and peddle SmartWater marked bikes!
So in conclusion, if you’re looking for an affordable way to be sure that your bike stays where you left it, then SmartWater is a smart choice.
To order a SmartWater bike protection pack or find out more about our expert security consultancy and risk protection service, visit our website or give us a call. 01743 233000. We’re always happy to help!
Guest blog post: by SW Asset Protection Ltd
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