Where Is Your Bike Right Now
|07/09/2012||Posted by under Carburetor Parts|
Given that the Bandit I use every day is chained to the lamppost outside the house, sometimes I don’t venture down my garage from one week to the next. But I went there the other morning to get one of the weekend bikes and it took me a minute to realise that the key wouldn’t fit the lock because some scrote had smashed it. With some trepidation I opened the door to find large gaps on all the shelves; gaps where all my tools had been. For the second time in six months, the bastards had been in and taken everything. The only saving grace is that, again, my bikes weren’t nicked. Does that mean I’m lucky? Or someone who chooses really shite bikes? Surely there’s a market for old MZs that have been round the clock a few times or slightly knackered Aprilias?
Last year there were 26,000 unfortunate souls who owned a bike that was stolen. Ten years ago there were 40 Stolen Vehicle Units across the country. Not every police force had one specialising in vehicle crime, but it meant that the national average for recovering a stolen bike was 65 percent. Now there are just two, that’s right, two, but the wealth of experience that these units contain still means that, last year, there was a 30 percent chance that your half-inched bike would be returned to you. But, in its infinite wisdom, the Government has decided that, as of March next year, there shall be no specialist units at all, and all the knowledge and experience that the guys from the bike unit in Chalk Farm possess, for example, will be lost as the officers are deployed on other business they have no experience of.
What’s more it would appear that a 200 pounds bicycle is now viewed more highly than a 10,000 pounds motorbike because, while London’s stolen unit closes, 30 officers are being assigned to bicycle crime in the Capital; even though bicycles are easier to nick, there’s no system of registration to aid policing and it isn’t nearly as big an economic problem. Almost half of the motorcycles stolen in the country are nicked in the London area and, although there will always be a percentage of bikes stolen by opportunist joy riders and those generally low of IQ, many are nicked by organised gangs stealing to feed the habits of racers or the very fruitful business of ringing (where a bike gets a new identity and is then resold, often to an unwitting dealer). Dodgy frame and engine numbers can be spotted a mile off by someone from the SVU, but most coppers, who may be trained in admin, community policing or domestic violence, couldn’t tell the difference between a fighter Gixer and 535 Virago.
There are many times that the boys in blue may piss you off, but who are you going to : when the thieving scum decide your pride and joy is the one they’re going to have next? I’m afraid that getting a letter in the post that reads sorry to hear you’ve been a victim of crime just isn’t good enough, but if we don’t actually shout about it, that, I’m afraid, is all we are likely to get to replace that cold feeling you’ll face when you open the garage and find that it’s empty. To make your voice louder you could join the Motorcycle Action Group and take part in our ??1,000 reward scheme to help find your bike. Alternatively, you could buy an MZ or a knackered Aprilia.