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National bike register launched in Belgium to prevent theft

08:57 25/04/2024

Belgium has launched a free national bike register for people aged 13 and older, called mybike, which is intended to help combat bicycle theft.

Such a system has been in place in Brussels since 2019, with a track record of success.

Bicycle owners in Belgium can now register their bike on the mybike platform with information such as make, model and colour, along with photos and proof of purchase.

They will then receive via mail a tamper-proof sticker with a QR code for identification purposes.

When scanned, the QR code can then be used to obtain information about the bike and its owner while still complying with privacy protection requirements, authorities said.

The QR code enables police to immediately identify the owner of a stolen bike when it is recovered and lets buyers of a second-hand bike check that it has not been reported stolen by its owner. In the event of resale, the parties involved can transfer the details to the new owner.

If someone comes across a stolen bike, they can also anonymously contact the owner directly and report it to the police.

There is also evidence that the presence of the permanent sticker alone can deter potential thieves.

Nathalie, a registered mybike user, told RTBF that the platform helped her recover her bicycle before she even realised it was stolen.

“I saw an email from the police informing me that my bike had been stolen, that they had found it and that I could contact them to go and get my bike back,” she recalled.

“At first I didn't believe him. But then I went down to the garage and found that my bike was gone. So I replied to the email straight away and the next day, police contacted me and gave me the address where I could pick up my bike.”

Police discovered the stolen bike during a routine check – they spotted someone transporting the bicycle and stopped them to scan the QR code on its sticker, at which point they were able to see the person in possession of the bike was not the real owner.

For the more than 50,000 bicycles currently registered with, information will be automatically transferred to the national system. Users will receive a code to connect to the new mybike directly.

Between 25,000 and 30,000 reports of bicycle theft are recorded every year in Belgium, or around 30 a day.

But in reality, authorities estimate that more than 100,000 bikes are stolen each year because many people do not report them, assuming nothing will be done and it is therefore not worth the trouble.

The hope is that this feeling of powerlessness will change with the system of tamper-proof stickers and a national bicycle register, since the owners of a stolen bike can be traced more easily.

According to data from the federal mobility ministry, most bicycle thefts take place in the public domain: either in a freely accessible bicycle parking area (41%), or on the public highway outside a bicycle parking area (34%). One in five thefts occurs at home (20%), and 4% in closed cycle parks.

Written by Helen Lyons



So, in order to protect your property you have to make your movements, your trades and your personal information know to the police and the well meaning public but also the bad meaning public as well!

Then, when the bike register grows some more it will become one more thing we will have to comply with by law.

And then we will have to pay for it either we want it or not.

Then we will have to pay to replace our old-tech high CO2 producing tires and other accessories, with new less CO2 producing ones, then the whole bike will be replaced mandatoriiy.

And of course, we will be charged with income tax each time we resell our bicycle.

The smaller houses and apartments get for the sake of CO2 (again), the more bicycles will be left outdoors night and day.
The poorer people become, the more thefts we are going to have.
See the downward spiral?

People please, protect your property instead of waiting for "daddy or mommy" to, maybe find it and maybe it will still be in one piece and...., in exchange for having your personal information and activities made public to good and bad actors alike.
Just paddle lock your bike or better yet take it indoors (not a garage you visit once or twice per year).
Enough with all these personal life intrusions and cost traps, in exchange for the "convenience" of some kind of "safe, secure and effective" remedy.

Apr 26, 2024 10:30