To mark the start of Bike to Work Week, the Vancouver Police announced that a smartphone app called Project 529 helped them to reduce bicycle theft by 30 percent since 2015.
The app allows users in 30 communities across BC to register and upload photos of their bikes. If the bike is stolen, the app has an ‘alert’ button and provides steps to follow in the event of a theft.
The VPD says they’ve helped get stolen bikes back to the owners through partnering with the app, and community police officers are seeing the benefits as well.
Volunteer Fiona Walsh says that within 18 months of Project 529 launching, around 300 stolen bikes were returned to their rightful owners. As a member, she can decide if she wants notifications if any bikes are stolen within 5km of her home.
“I’ll get the notification. I get them regularly. And I might just go around and glance at bikes that are parked, or sitting in wrong places or whatever, and I might report it and say hey I see this bike, it looks like it’s got the sticker on it so I think it’s registered.”