Bike Index is constantly trying to make bike registration and identification easier and more efficient - especially for law enforcement. Thanks to real-time feedback from our partners, we’ve rapidly tailored a couple of new features for police departments with official Bike Index accounts. Most notable is the ability to contact Bike Index users who haven’t marked their bikes as stolen. This is a new feature that lets police message owners who have lost or abandoned their bikes - or who haven’t even realized their bikes have been stolen yet.
If someone loses or abandons their bike, they typically don’t bother to report their bike as ‘stolen’. That doesn’t negate the need for police departments (and campuses) to remove these bikes though, since they clog up infrastructure - and eat up time. In other recent instances, police have encountered bikes before their owners know they have been stolen - and police need to rapidly ID an owner while ‘in the field’.
In this example, officers stopped a vehicle with suspect bikes inside - including one whose owner didn’t even realize it was stolen yet. In Alberta the Stolen Bikes Edmonton Facebook group has been on a recovery streak thanks to their hard work promoting registration and working with local police. In this case, Stolen Bikes Edmonton and Bike Index were rapidly able to connect this bike with its legitimate owner. The more bikes we register, the more of these kinds of situations will turn up, so we’ve turned this feature into something the police can use on their own.
Participating police departments can use this feature to get in touch with users who have not opened their Bike Index profile for communication. Police - trusted Bike Index users - will be able to reduce the amount of bikes they need to keep in storage and will decrease the amount of time spent trying to find the owners of the bicycles.
Through hundreds of law enforcement and recovery relationships, we’ve optimized a platform for communication and the speedy distribution of crucial bike and owner information. This started - and continues with - our integration with LeadsOnline and our live tweets of stolen bikes. But to add to this new communication feature, Bike Index has also fleshed out the bulk-search for police departments. This allows those same authorized police account owners to run bulk serial number searches.
In other words: Instead of checking each serial number one at a time, police departments can do this in one fell swoop to learn if they have bikes they need to return to owners or donate. Simply copy and paste serials that need checking - no cap on number - and Bike Index will return the results on matching bikes. This is a huge time-saver - especially for anyone sorting through a warehouse full of bikes.
What’s the catch to all of this? There is none. We are the only bike registration platform focused on recovery, the tool most-needed by police departments who are looking to return stolen bikes to their rightful owners. Bike Index is dedicated to offering low-cost services to law enforcement officers to decrease theft and increase recovery. If you are a law enforcement officer looking to upgrade your bike registration service, create a free organization account and use these two new features today.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://bikeindex.org/news/police-departments-can-now-contact-bike-owners-even-when-bikes-are-not