Crime Stoppers and the Western Australian Police Force have introduced a new online community tool to help connect bikes to their rightful owners, while making life harder for prospective thieves.
It's called Bikelinc, and it can be used in a number of different ways.
First of all, the police can search the database in real time to check if a bike is connected to its rightful owner.
Riders and bike retailers can also upload bicycle and personal details to the database, should it fall in to the wrong hands in the future.
And finally, when buying a new bike you can check the Bikelinc platform to see if the serial number has been registered as safe, missing or stolen.
Check out the introduction video below:
The issue with tools similar to this in the past — and Bicycle Network know this from experience — has been that some people are wary of uploading their personal information into an online database, and law enforcement need to be able to safely and easily access the system without compromising their own digital security.
Crime Stoppers however have a proven record of keeping people's data safe and working alongside law enforcement, which should help to navigate these road bumps.
Bikelinc was launched Western Australia early this year in response to growing frustrations in the community regarding bike theft, which has risen 64% over the past 10 years.
The system already has over 21,000 bikes listed, and has quickly spread to Canberra, where Crime Stoppers ACT and ACT Policing are also keen to tackle the growing number of reported bike thefts.
You can read some of the success stories here - including the story of a very valuable Scott Foil Team Edition road bike that wound up in a Cash Converters, before being traced it back to the original owner via Bikelinc.
This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.