LB Checks Out The Launch Of The MCIA's Master Scheme With DataTag
Our Editor couldn't go due to work/child issues but after his involvement with our BABT programme of last year James Rixxy Rix stepped up and headed off with a new pencil and pad.
Here's his report.
The figures from the MCIA now speak for themselves: 26,000 motorcycles going missing every year in the UK, most of these are less than 3 years old and, most scary for us Londoners, 35 of these every day (or nearly 50% of the total UK theft) is taken from our streets, which is a higher number than new vehicles sold on most days.
It's effecting all of us, and further figures reveal some worrying facts. For example if you take the number of bikes stolen in 2009, and look at the number of new bikes bought, it means that nearly 22% of all new bikes sold became theft victims. The figures don't get any better with 43% of all insurance total loss payouts being due to theft, and the Motorcycle Crime Reduction Group suggest that 40% of theft victims leave the motorbike community for good.
The problem is not just the bikes being stolen, it's the recovery rates. Only 18% of sports bikes were recovered in 2008 (against the average of 41% recovery for all bikes or nearly 80% recovery for cars)
Victims of theft sometimes feel left out in the cold by the police and manufacturers, and clearly it's having a huge effect. The number of people leaving the community alone makes a mockery of the schemes like “Get On”, with Dave Loscombe of Datatag pointing out that 8,000 riders a year are recruited by these schemes but nearly 10,000 a year are leaving the industry due to theft.
Well we finally have some good news, it's not going to solve the problem over night, but it gets a big thumbs up from LB and we hope its going to make for a brighter future.
The official Motorcycle and Scooter Tagged Equipment Registration Security Scheme, or MASTER as it's known, launched at Scotland Yard on the 24th of July thanks to a lot of hard work from the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) and will be rolled out over the coming months.
With members including Honda, Triumph, Suzuki, Kawasaki, BMW and Yamaha already signed up and agreeing to add these new anti-theft products to their entire new bike ranges, this is a huge step to help stop theft in London. Datatag MD Kevin Howells explained his personal passion for motorcycles and why this project was close to his heart. Going forth, all new models from participating manufacturers will now include the latest Datatag Identification at no extra cost on the RRP.
Stealing a bike and breaking it down for parts will no longer be cost effective thanks to invisible etching in the fairings which can only be viewed under UV light. Combine this with micro chips hidden all over each bike, data dots, and transponders, and we have a situation where in the future even buying a spare fairing set on ebay can involve dropping the fairing's code into the Datatag online check system which will then tell you if the fairing has come from a stolen vehicle. And recovered parts which are normally impossible to trace a history from can now be scanned or viewed for etchings to find out the truth behind the spares!
Did you know most stolen bikes end up back in hands of dealers? It's the norm for one of these criminals to take all the parts of a stolen bike, add them to a legal frame with log book and chop them in, but now all parts on this bike can be scanned or have their numbers entered on the Datatag website meaning a history behind this bike and its parts can be traced.
Sure, it's not going to stop people “ped pushing” or loading the bike into a van, but it is going to make catching these criminals a lot easier for even your regular less informed police officer, and it's going to make the profits involved in bike breaking disappear.
This is a huge change in the way the motorcycle industry currently operates. It does mean that buying spare fairings, exhausts and parts will involve a little more paperwork and a small fee to check the parts history, but if it stops theft of these bikes in the first place then we think it's a big positive.
You can read more about what exactly Datatag are offering, and if like me you already have a bike and would like to add this now nationally recognised ID to your pride and joy, then you can by visiting www.datatag.co.uk or look for the special offer for our members on the website.