First National Action Week Against Bicycle Theft kicks off

The first National Action Week Against Bicycle Theft kicked off at Antwerp Central station on Monday morning. Throughout the week, the federal government and local authorities are raising awareness among cyclists and witnesses about bicycle theft and how to prevent it. The organisers also launched a new tool, the Mybike system.

Every year, about 30,000 cases of bicycle theft are reported in Belgium. These figures have remained stable in recent years, but the actual figures are most likely much higher, because victims of bicycle theft rarely file a report. The National Action Week is an initiative by the Federal Public Service Home Affairs to raise awareness of the problem.

The slogan of the first edition is "Every link counts". The organisers want to point out that cyclists, witnesses, community guards and prevention advisors can all do their bit. The campaign takes place online and through about 60 actions across the country.

"We obviously want to point out first of all the importance of things like having a good bike lock," said federal Interior minister Annelies Verlinden. "But we are also launching the Mybike system across the country, which allows people to put a non-removable sticker with a unique code on their bike. If a bike is stolen and recovered afterwards, the police can more easily return it to its rightful owner with this system."

Verlinden said the theft of more expensive bikes such as e-bikes was on the rise and that theft often has a big impact on victims, for example because they use their bike to go to work.



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