The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), the UK’s leading voice for riders’ rights, held a joint session with the Chair of the Motorcycle Crime Reduction Group (MCRG), Kevin Howells, at MAG’s National Committee meeting on 11th February, 2017, in Warwickshire.
Mr Howells talked about the shocking crime statistics affecting biking. ‘There are over 26,000 bike thefts a year in this country,’ he explained. ‘That means that during my presentation three or four bikes will have been taken in the UK. What the MCRG does is find ways to put people off stealing bikes. Tagging them is the most important one, and it’s got a good track record. With a system like Datatag your bike is 60% less likely to be stolen, and the recovery rates are a lot better. That’s one thing we can do and the industry has taken that up.’
The meeting looked at what can most effectively reduce crime for bikers. MAG’s London Representative, Tim Fawthrop, reported that the Mayor of London, Sadiq Kahn, has blamed bikers themselves for not being careful enough; Tim observed that it’s hard to see how you can protect against being pushed off your own bike in a petrol station, likening it to blaming someone for not having chained all their property down in their house in case a burglar breaks in.
Mr Howells surprised the group by revealing that a lot of stolen bikes are built around used frames with log books sold by the insurance industry. These are then sold back into the dealership network.
Selina Lavender, Chair of MAG, said: ‘Kevin’s talk was very informative. Fighting bike theft needs to be a joint initiative so whilst it is encouraging that some manufacturers such as Triumph are fitting additional security as standard, there also needs to be an improvement in crime detection. ’
It was agreed that MAG and the MCRG will continue to work together, with the industry and the police in an effort to reduce bike crime which, suggested Mr Howells, can provoke riders into giving up bikes because they get fed up with losing them.
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