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ID-marked bikes less likely to be stolen

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Motorcycles without an approved marking identification system are twice as likely to be stolen, according to the latest Bermuda Police Service (BPS) figures.

These findings follow a campaign by the BPS to reduce motorcycle and scooter crime on the Island, key to which has been the use of identification technologies from Datatag.

Datatag was introduced to Bermuda in 2005 to help the BPS with its long-term programme of motorcycle and scooter crime prevention and is a multi-layered overt and covert marking system.

Originally developed by the UK motorcycle industry 20 years ago to help cut the spiralling rate of motorcycle crime, it achieved significant success in both prevention and prosecution.

Research conducted by the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) confirmed that a vehicle was approximately five times more likely to be stolen in the UK if it wasn’t protected by a marking system like Datatag.

It is almost impossible for thieves to locate and remove every single identification mark without damaging the motorcycle and for the BPS it means that only one element of the Datatag technology needs to be found in order to confirm the identity of the real keeper and owner. If identified as stolen the BPS can, with 100 percent confidence, prosecute.

“The Bermuda Police Service supports the use of technology to reduce crime and Datatag has donated their expert advice and high-tech equipment to help in this battle,” said Paul Wright, Assistant Commissioner of Police Operations.

“We will deploy Datatag technology to combat motorcycle and scooter theft and part theft and we will continue to use that technology to assist with subsequent prosecutions.”

One of the keys to the success of Datatag is volume marking. The BPS has seen steady growth in Datatag marked bikes over the past six years and now, in 2011, more than half of all bikes on Bermuda are protected and registered with Datatag. As a result not only has motorcycle and scooter crime on Bermuda fallen by 20 percent since its introduction but current crime statistics show that more than twice as many unmarked bikes are stolen than ones that are protected by Datatag.

The concept of Datatag is simple but the technology behind it is state-of-the-art. Multi-layered identification technologies permanently mark any vehicle or property making identification simple for the authorities. Scooter application costs the equivalent of about $30 a year over the average life of a bike.

In 2010, Datatag enhanced the Bermuda system by introducing an all new ‘stealth’ numbering system, enabling the motorcycle or scooter to have a unique number permanently etched into the plastic panels and wheels, but it is virtually invisible to see and does not spoil the aesthetics or look of the machine. These unique numbers can easily be read by the BPS using the equipment supplied by Datatag and allows the BPS to identify any stolen property quickly. Since its introduction last year, more than 2,000 bikes have been protected with this new system.

Datatag is looking the possibility of introducing the same technology for a ‘home marking kit’ so that personal property and valuables such laptops, tablet PCs, phones and televisions can be easily marked and identified if stolen.

Kevin Howells, managing director of Datatag, said: “Datatag is committed to helping the BPS with our support and is confident that its expertise will continue to help to drive down motorcycle and scooter crime. We have seen significant success in other markets and look forward to seeing those repeated here in Bermuda.”

Datatag technology has been applied not only to motorcycles but also to agricultural and construction equipment with considerable interest being shown in various markets in the US. With its ongoing development and secure data access Datatag has been awarded the status of a ‘Secure by Design’ accredited company one of the highest awards for a security product or company, and is recognised and supported by the UK Home Office and Association of Chief Police Officers.

For more information visit or

Marked: Police can easily detect the true owner of a bike marked with Datatag

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Published August 17, 2011 at 10:45 am (Updated August 17, 2011 at 10:44 am)

ID-marked bikes less likely to be stolen

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