Gumtree and LCC to discuss ways of reducing online stolen bike sales

LCC and Gumtree will meet to discuss proposals to tackle the massive problem of internet sales of stolen bicycles.

Chief executive Koy Thomson wrote to Gumtree and eBay inviting them for talks.

It's hoped that with their experience of internet sales, the websites will be able to help close the door to online thieves.

A recent survey by LCC found that 1 in 6 London cyclists had seen a stolen bike for sale online.

Measures proposed by LCC, after talks with the police, include:

  1. Adding a field for the frame number on web listings to discourage thieves
  2. Demanding genuine photos, preventing vendors from disguising bikes with generic pictures
  3. Stricter rules for vendor identification based on a verifiable name and address
  4. A commitment to rapid and effective response times from websites to police enquiries
  5. Pro-active investigations by website owners, feeding suspicious listings to police

Koy Thompson said, "We've proposed quick and low-cost measures that websites can put in place to discourage dishonest vendors.

"We want buyers and police to able to clearly see who's open and upfront about who they are and what they're selling, which should help weed out the rogue sellers."

Report suspicious online bike sales

Anyone can report suspicious online sales on Gumtree and eBay:

Gumtree Use the 'report this ad' link above the bicycle photo to flag it as an 'illegal / fraudulent ad'.

eBay Use the 'report item' link to the right of the listing, and mark the item as 'stolen property'.

In each instance, you must also report the item as stolen to the police to convince the website to act...