Sigmax joins the battle against bike thieves

Sigmaxs bicycle enforcement products broaden the working field in Utrecht. With an extension to BikeControl, Sigmax is supporting the police and Utrecht City Council in tackling problems with bicycles in Dom City. With a newly-developed app, enforcement officers on the street can check if a bike is registered as stolen. Sigmax hereby puts the breaks on bike theft and on the receipt of stolen bikes. 

The student city of Utrecht is the cycling heart of the Netherlands, which, on paper, makes it the Valhalla for bike thieves. Each year over 4,000 bikes are reported stolen. Commissioned by Stichting Aanpak Voertuigcriminaliteit (Foundation for Tackling Vehicle Criminality) Sigmax developed a user-friendly app to quickly retrieve bike details, which helps with combatting criminality.

Smartphone highlights bikes full history

The extension to BikeControl scans a bike’s frame number using the camera and then checks the Netherlands Vehicle Authority (RDW) database to see if it has been reported as stolen. When enforcement officers come across a bike registered as stolen it is secured with a special lock and taken away later by the police. The bike is also marked so everyone can see it is stolen. This is to increase awareness among citizens of the issue of receiving stolen goods and to appeal to their sense of responsibility.

The new app was taken into use in Utrecht at the beginning of the month. With BikeControl and the developed mobile app, enforcement officers can now map out how many bikes have been obtained through theft. The City Council can now instantly see how many bikes have been provided with a unique frame number and whether this mark is still legible.

Digital bike enforcement with Sigmax

Utrecht has been using BikeControl since 2015 for the enforcement of bikes or scooters that are causing an obstruction, bikes parked for lengthy periods or broken and abandoned bikes. The app supports the City Council throughout the process: from scheduling enforcement activities to registering all labelled bikes and to the logistics and legal formalities. This is all based on the applicable bylaw (Algemene Plaatselijke Verordening – APV). The mobile solution is linked to a PerfectView application for processing the confiscated bicycles at the bike depot. This completes the chain and makes it fraud proof.

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Utrecht City Council

Utrecht is the first city council to use a completely digital enforcement system for bikes: BikeControl. The priority during the entire process was lean thinking and using a clear vision to work towards a complete, interconnected chain.

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