Microchips to battle bike thieves
31 March 2005, AMSTERDAM — Ten thousand second-hand bicycles are to be fitted with microchips in Amsterdam during the coming months as part of a trial programme to cut the huge number of bicycle thefts in the city.
31 March 2005
AMSTERDAM — Ten thousand second-hand bicycles are to be fitted with microchips in Amsterdam during the coming months as part of a trial programme to cut the huge number of bicycle thefts in the city.
It is estimated that between 80,000 and 150,000 bicycles are stolen in the Dutch capital annually. Only about 7,000 bicycle thefts are reported to police.
Many bike owners accept the occasional loss of a bike as a simple fact of life and few bother to report a theft to the police. It is also common for people to replace a stolen bike by buying another stolen bike on a street corner.
Amsterdam City Council hopes that the microchip — which contains a unique code identifying the true owner of the bike — will help cut the number of thefts and encourage more people to go to police when their bike is taken.
Officers will run a scanner over a bike they suspect might be stolen. If the bike contains a chip, the identity of the true owner can quickly be established.
It is hoped the use of the chip will increase the chance that the bike, if found, can be re-united with its owner, newspaper Het Parool reported. On average, only 1 percent of stolen bikes are returned to the owner.
The trial in Amsterdam is being financed by the Ministry of Transport. If successful, the project will be implemented nation-wide.
The chip, according to Amsterdam city officials, is more robust than engraving an identification number on the frames of bikes. The microchips will be distributed from various locations in Amsterdam to bike owners in coming weeks.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news