It's MY Bike

3. The Psychology

In recent years the understanding of how criminals take decisions to either steal something or not has been clarified.

The old theory regarded criminals as rational actors, making rational, thought out decisions on whether or not to take the risk of stealing something.

Expected utility theory said that the only deterrent was the punishment that a criminal would face if caught. This has proved to be wrong, it predicts that during a recession, for example, that crime should go up, it hasn't, it has gone down.

A new approach, based on the science of behavioural economics adopts a different starting point, one that is backed by empirical evidence, that a human being's decision making process is driven by emotion. It says for example that we, as human beings, hate uncertainty especially when we are taking risky decisions.

Thieves like to know what they are up against as they take the decision to take something or walk away. They like to know what sort of security they are facing. A lock, for example is a known quantity. They can then make a rational decision to take the risk or not. They want an environment that they are comfortable operating within.

So we set out to take any degree of certainty away. Maybe there are more than three hidden NFC chips which will record their phones network address on a database, or a tracker. There could also be security on the bike accessories as well. There could be a tag in the panniers or on the GPS.

We know, through research, that most thieves follow some basic principles. These are:

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