London’s first-ever bike registry has seen great success in the months following its launch, and has reunited five missing bicycles with their owners.
“I’ve been (working) here for a long time, and we never really had a good mechanism to return recovered bicycles to their owners,” Noel said.
“The initiation for a bicycle registry for the whole city (saw) a couple of success stories in the last five months.”
He recounted that a few weekends ago, two downtown foot parole officers were on the lookout for recently stolen bikes at the beginning of their shifts.
“When they saw a very similar bike, it caused them to inquire a little further, and it turned out to be one of the bikes that had been reported stolen,” Noel said.
“On the weekend that they worked, they actually recovered two bicycles the same way.”
Since late march, almost 600 bikes have been registered and five have been returned.
The registry stemmed from a concern from an avid cyclist, which prompted London police to launch the 529 Garage Bike Registry in partnership with the 529 Garage app.
It allows bike owners to register information like pictures and serial numbers on the app and notify the local community if their bike is stolen.
“The benefit of using the 529 Garage app is that it houses registration information and allows our officers to quickly query the make, model, colour and a serial number of found or stolen bicycles,” said Sgt. Chris Carne, head of the London Police Service Community Services Unit.
“Like any web-based or mobile app, bicycle owners choose how much information they wish to share.”
Noel is encouraging every bicycle owner to register their bike on the 529 Garage Bike Registry.
When registering, you may take up to six photos of you and/or your bike, so if your bike goes missing, you can sent out a notification with photos to anyone who is using the app to ask them to be on the lookout.
Users may register more than one bike.
–With files from 980 CFPL’s Sawyer Bogdan