Motorcycle theft is a problem. Apparently it’s an even bigger problem in the UK, where a pair of friends who some might affectionately call vigilantes (though they argue that), have made it their dedicated avocation to find stolen bikes in their spare time, and effectively steal them back.
Martin and Dom (not their real names) live in Bristol, England, and have seen motorcycle theft increase while the police force has been reduced. Budget cuts decimated the ability of the local police to fight motorcycle theft. They probably have other things they're required to focus on, like crime that endangers public safety and not property theft.
While nobody recommends taking stolen vehicle recovery into your own private-citizen hands, these guys have founded “SMRB: Stolen Motorcycle Recovery Bristol.” They’ve been successful in recovering a bunch of stolen bikes and went from trying not to get caught and worrying about “trafficking in stolen goods,” to working with, and having a good working relationship with, the local constabulary. They’ve worked out what they are allowed to do, legally, and they and the police, and the residents of local neighborhoods, all work together to keep an eye out for and recover stolen bikes.
Martin and Dom aren’t looking to punish the thieves. They’re all about recovering the bikes. They are, however, conscious that Bristol has cut funding for youth services right along with their police budget cuts. Bored kids who have an interest in motorcycles are more likely to steal them.
Dom and Martin are working on creating some local youth programs to teach kids about motorcycles and work with them so that they’ll be more likely to do good in their neighborhoods instead of getting into trouble “nicking” bikes. They know their part of the city has no community centers or anything to keep kids busy and are looking to do what they can to pass their knowledge of motorcycles on to kids who have an obvious interest.
Well done, guys. This is the sort of thing that could and should be replicated all over the place.
Source: BBC YouTube