Who nicks your bike and how they do it
The foreign gangs
Organised criminals are involved in stealing our bikes. Several groups posing as dealers and breakers were arrested last year but half-a-dozen gangs are still active in the UK. More cells will continue to visit from Europe to steal and collect stolen machines and parts. Vans with plates from Estonia down to the Baltic have been stopped transporting stolen bikes and parts. These new gangs are common in most cities of the world. Many of the continental groups use stolen scooters and bikes as the new currency for buying and selling drugs and the fear is that this may be the case in the UK. The scooter gangs which are causing mayhem, tend to belong to the organised and often violent criminals responsible for the majority of robberies, burglaries and assaults as well as bike theft in the UK.
Bikes and scooters stolen across Europe are used as currency for buying and selling drugs
Off-road bikes are often targeted and many bikes end up being broken up for spares
The domestic gangs
The UK did well last year in dealing with several gangs arrested for theft, but the black market trade in spare parts via the web remains huge. Local thieves from the UK are active in the theft of off-roaders – like trikes, quads and childrens’ machines. Many bikes of this kind are not registered for the road which makes registering frame and engine numbers as stolen very difficult.
The Government and police are addressing this new violent gang culture and its involvement in acquisitive crimes as a priority. Our motorcycle and insurance industries are working in tandem to assist police by implementing new technology and training via their own crime reduction group – the MCRG. The police are currently conducting Operation Venice, a large initiative set to rid the capital of bike gangs and educate bikers, particularly scooter riders in the need to lock their bikes.
Our much-loved bikes end up being broken for spares