Every day more than four bikes are reported stolen to Police in Christchurch, with over $2 million worth of bikes stolen in 2021. We want to change this.
To help discourage bike thefts in the community, Canterbury Police and Christchurch City Council are teaming up with 529 Garage to provide a free registration scheme for bikes.
"Registering bikes with 529 Garage will help deter bike thieves and help us to return stolen bikes to their owners,” says Constable Olivia Bensley.
529 Garage is a community-powered bike recovery service that began in North America and has recently started operating in New Zealand.
The service works by encouraging bike owners to register their bikes on the 529 Garage app. Users can enter their bike’s serial number, details of identifying features, as well as photos of the bike.
“529 Garage offers residents a simple, free way to register their bicycles and we’re keen to get as many bikes registered as possible,’’ says Council Transport Operations Manager Stephen Wright.
“In other communities where 529 Garage has launched, authorities have noticed a promising decline in bike thefts. For example, in Vancouver, Canada, there was a 40 per cent drop in bike thefts in the four years after 529 Garage’s launch.
“We’re hoping it will have the same impact here. We’re trying to encourage active modes of transport and we don’t want bike theft deterring people from going places by bike."
This record helps Police prove a bike is stolen, and enables Police to return any stolen bikes they recover to their owners.
If a bike registered with 529 Garage goes missing, the owner can also activate an alert notification to 529 Garage, which sends out a broadcast to all app users in the area to be on the look-out for the missing bike.
“We’re also reminding people that prevention is key," says Olivia.
"Use a quality D-lock or thick chain lock, always lock through your frame and a wheel to a solid object, and never rely on a flexible cable lock as your primary lock." (For the best ways to lock your bike, watch the video, below)
When people register with 529 Garage they can opt to get a tamper-resistant sticker with a unique registration code to place on the frame of their bike. The sticker provides a visual deterrent to theft by letting any would-be thieves know that the bike is registered with 529 Garage.