The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Ottawa Safety Council (OSC) and Citizens for Safe Cycling (Bike Ottawa) in an effort to reduce bike thefts in the city.
The OPS and its partners launched the Ottawa-focused version of the 529 Garage app https://project529.com/ottawapoliceservice which will send an alert to its registered users any time a bike has been stolen.
529 Garage is used in many Canadian cities – Vancouver, Red Deer, Whistler to name a few – and in Vancouver alone, it helped to cut bike thefts by 30%. Ottawa is one of the first major cities to adopt the 529 Garage app.
“This is a fantastic tool to reduce bike thefts in the city,” said OPS bike expert Constable Chuck Benoit. “It’s a great way to connect with Ottawa’s cycling community and it encourages us to look out for each other. It’s also an effective way to help the police recover your bike quickly.”
The 529 Garage app functions like a formal bike registry where profiles and bike images can be uploaded. Data can only be accessed by police officials, and a user can customize the information released when sending out a missing bike alert (preferred contact method should be included). That notification goes out to every registered 529 Garage user within a 15 kilometre radius, and redirects the victim to our online reporting system in order to recover their bike.
“Garage 529 is an amazing app-based bike recovery service that has had proven results in the communities where it has been launched,” said OSC CEO Shari Black. “It’s community-based and straight-forward to register, and we hope that we can facilitate a movement that helps make roads safer for cyclists in Ottawa.”
“When you register your bike with 529 Garage, you not only protect your own bike, but you’ll be part of a community working together to eliminate bike theft in Ottawa,” said Bike Ottawa President Heather Shearer. “Technology makes this possible, and it’s your participation that will make it successful.”
Watch for representatives at various bike events throughout the summer.
If you would like more information about 529 Garage and how to register, please visit: ottawapolice.ca/endbiketheft.