Copenhagen: bicycle city
The city of Copenhagen has an innovative approach to cutting down on cycle theft. Copenhagen is one of the best cities in the world for cycling, a place where the advantages of cycling are taken as a given by all politicians.
Every year, 16,000 bicycles go missing in the city, never to be found again. But there is hope, with the city’s ‘Vi vil ha’ en lille chip på‘ campaign. Here is how it works.
Turn up with your bicycle at one of the events being held this summer, and have your name, address and email registered with the city. They will put a chip on the bicycle. When the bike gets stolen, call the city and they will register it as missing. Mobile scanners, carried by parking attendants, will be alerted by the chip if the bike is in the vicinity and automatically send an email to the owner with the location of the bike.
No word if the parking attendants themselves will be alerted to the stolen bike. I would assume that they have enough to do without having to contend with potential bike thieves. However, just knowing that your bike has been located in the city could be good enough for a lot of cases. You can go check out the location and hopefully recover the bike.
One problem that Copenhagen has with its bicycle culture is resale of stolen bikes. Bikes can be registered with the police and given a stamp, and bike stores are supposed to check to see if the bike has been reported stolen or not. As I understand it, if someone purchases a stolen bike, they do not have the right to keep it if it has been reported as stolen, and the owner wants it back. Chipping bikes will add an extra level of deterence, and hopefully cut down on bike theft in the city.