Gumtree works with campaigners to reduce stolen bike sales in London

LCC, CTC and a representative of the police's new bike squad met Gumtree's Head of Customer Service, Trust and Security, Katie Kitiri, to discuss measures to reduce the incidence of stolen bike sales on the online classified site.

In June, as part of our Beat The Thief campaign, LCC proposed five measures to reduce online bike fencing:

  1. Ask sellers to provide frame numbers
  2. Identify who's selling anonymously
  3. Encourage only genuine product photos
  4. Pro-actively report suspect ads to the police
  5. Encourage responsible buy behaviour

LCC's Mike Cavenett said, "We're very pleased Gumtree responded so positively to our proposals. Soon we expect to see more information about the sellers displayed on the ads, and further advice for buyers on what to look for. This is a solid step towards making it easier for buyers to spot suspect sales."

Kiriti said, "Gumtree is a site built on trust between buyers and sellers. We'll continue to work closely with the police to tackle this problem, and do everything we an to prevent these ads appearing on our site.

"Many of LCC's suggestions are in tune with work already in progress, and as a result of the meeting we're already working together on several initiatives in this area."

Other measures in the pipeline include:

  • Improved systems to link with the police bike theft squad
  • On-site messaging indicating Gumtree's close collaboration with the Metropolitan Police
  • Contextual advice for buyers and sellers of bikes based on advice from cycling organisations.

Cavenett said, "We look forward to a continued dialogue with Gumtree. Future meetings will include talks on how new or existing bike frame databases can be used to enhance safe website selling."