E-bike theft protection and recovery service BackPedal is ‘fighting back’ against bike crime using a network of recovery agents and smart tech.
BackPedal offers a recovery subscription for £8.99 a month but also provides on-demand recovery for those who aren’t subscribers for £799, with a 50% refund if they don’t get the e-bike back.
The subscription service uses GPS for tracking with the tracker connected to the bike's electrical system. Regular location and status updates mean a stolen e-bike can be tracked in real-time, with the company claiming it has a success rate of 89%.
The on-demand service involves deploying two local 'recovery agents' who will search for your e-bike.
Founder James Dunn told Momentum Mag: “We use GPS trackers and Bluetooth beacons. We can supply these to people but also work with leading brands. Really what we care about is being able to find the bike when it gets stolen, because the unique part of our proposition is we’ve got a network of recovery agents around the country.”
The company began operating 18 months ago and has a few hundred customers in the UK, operating across the country including in London, Southampton, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow.
Last year, a YouGov survey found that more than three quarters of British people don’t expect the police to bother investigating bike thefts. 84% of those surveyed also believe that it is unlikely that bike thieves will be caught and convicted, with over half claiming that it is “not likely at all” that criminals stealing bicycles will be found guilty in court.
BackPedal says it is experienced at interpreting tracking data to pin down events and a likely current location, and manages the rapid deployment of its recovery agents and their coordination with local police.
The company’s network is made up of retired police officers, military veterans and security professionals. Dunn said: “These aren’t full-time members of our team, but what we do is we recruit enough of them so that when a bike gets stolen, we can deploy someone.
“So what happens is a bike gets stolen in Brentford, and we’ll look up our database of people who are around and close enough. We’ll ping them and find the one or two who are able to get out there quickly and start recovering. That’s the key part. We need people to be able to respond really quickly.”