The Prince Albert Police Service and the City of Prince Albert partnered on an outdoor bike rally on Saturday afternoon at Parkland Hall. The event will include information about preventing bike theft and safety tips to help young bike riders prevent injuries.
Other partners on the event included Parkland Ambulance, the Prince Albert Fire Department, Fresh Air Experience and others who brought the message of bike safety for the afternoon.
“We all got together and we really want to stop bike theft in the city and what better way to promote bike safety, promote bike theft prevention. So really the big thing here today is to really enjoy the use of bikes. If a bike gets stolen you are not going to enjoy that time together, “ Constable Ron Meyers of the Community Policing Unit of PAPS explained.
Meyers explained that biking has become a popular, fun and safe outdoor activity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We just want to bring back to kids some safety etiquette, rules of the road, arm signs, signal signs and stuff like that as well as making sure kids know that they are riding a safe mechanical bike that is why Fresh Air is here doing tire pressure and everything like that and then the same with Parkland they are here to promote helmets. We see a ton of kids around and adults who are not wearing helmets,”
At the Parkland Ambulance Display director of public affairs Lyle Karasiuk taught about properly fitting a bicycle helmet, Fresh Air Experience conducted free bicycle safety checks and the Fire Department offered tours of a fire engine.
Meyers explained that from the police side the Community Policing Unit is really pushing locking up bicycles.
“We have got some pamphlets that we are handing out. We have got a slogan called “record it, lock it and then report it. So we really want folks to know record your serial numbers, take photos of it and then when they have that and to lock it, unfortunately you have to lock your bike up because it can leave in such a short time and if it unfortunately does get stolen we want you to report it because we want to know right away that we are looking for this bike,” he explained.
Before people in attendance went through an obstacle safety course the Community Policing Unit outlined rules of the road and explained how important it is to record a serial number from every bike.
“If you have the serial number do record it or take a photo of it. If we have that we will be able to find it quicker,” Meyers said.
Meyers explained the practice of putting serial numbers on bicycles did not really become prominent until the 1990s.
“It’s very similar to our fingerprints and no bike has the same serial number,” he explained.
He compared it to a VIN number on a car for keeping track of bicycles.
“We find it very important for folks to record that stuff so that in the unfortunate event that it does go missing that the police have a way to recover it if we have it,” Meyers said.
According to a release from PAPS bike theft is one of the most common types of property crime reported in Prince Albert. They explained that thieves often target bikes as a way to travel to other areas of our community to commit further crimes, such as break and enter, theft, or vandalism. Stolen bikes can also be quickly repainted or taken apart, making them difficult to identify.
Recording details and keeping photos of your bike, and ensuring it is properly locked are some of the best ways to deter bike theft.
They also advices to keep your receipt for proof of purchase and ensure you record the serial number, make, model, type and colour.
Other community partners taking part in the bike rodeo included SGI, Prince Albert Grand Council, Canadian Tire and the Prince Albert Police Association.