Profiling suspected bike thieves

Cheers to Lancashire, England police for their aggressive bicycle anti-theft campaign. Jeers for their apparently heavy handed application of “stop and show proof”. Police in Lancashire, England stop cyclists and ask them to show proof of ownership in anti-theft campaign.

According to Going Going Bike, police in this northwest England city are asking cyclists to show proof of ownership. If the rider can’t produce a receipt or other evidence, police may confiscate the suspect bike. Police say they have seized 17 bicycles in two weeks.

Bike registration is (sort of) available in California, though the only police with the capacity to check California’s database are with the University of California in Davis. I never carry a receipt or any other proof of ownership. I frequently meet Lancashire’s police profile of riding a woman’s bike.

Via Urban Velo Magazine.


  1. This is my post that I made at Going Going Bike.

    What a brilliant idea. In fact, they should extend this scheme further –
    to clothing. If police notice a person wearing suspicious clothing,
    then unless they supply acceptable documentation, that clothing will be
    confiscated on the spot. Once the person provides documents to prove
    ownership at a police station, the clothing will be returned.

    Of course, some people may have all their clothing confiscated if
    they’re not carrying receipts with them but it is a small price to pay
    to reduce the crime of clothing theft.

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