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20/01/2012 // INFO Leave a comment

Cycle co-op uses phone app to spread bike theft details

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Cycle Oxford App

We’ve had plenty of stories here on Going Going Bike on how social media has been used by cyclists to notify the cycling community of stolen bikes and aid in the eventual the recovery of such items. One cycling group in Oxford hopes to take this use of social media further with a smartphone application that will help cyclists in the city keep track of which bikes are being stolen and from where.

Cycle Oxford, the community cooperative of cyclists behind the phone App, aims to make it harder for thieves to sell bikes on by getting the photos of the bikes to be seen by many people as possible.

The app allows pictures of the stolen bikes to tweeted out on Twitter or put up on Facebook so that the image gets to a wider audience as possible.  The hope is that someone will spot the stolen bike being sold, and after taking appropriate action, the bike will be recovered/reunited to its original owner.

One of the photos of a stolen bike (with theft details) uploaded to the App has already received 30,000 views after the image continued to be distributed via social media networks. Photos of the stolen bikes will also appear on Cycle Oxford’s Flickr page.

Uploading details

Details of a stolen bike are uploaded on to the “App” by the Cycle Oxford team themselves. Anyone in Oxford wanting to notify Cycle Oxford about their stolen bike can get in contact via their Twitter page.

The Cycle Oxford phone “App” is not only about stolen bikes. Other information, news and details of local events can be accessed through the App.

Spike in bike thefts

Dan Harris, a director of Cycle Oxford, told the Oxford Mail that they decided to include information about stolen bikes on the App after they noticed a spike in bicycle thefts in Oxford with thieves targeting sheds and garages in particular for high value items.

Mr Harris told the newspaper that in some areas the cycling community had better networks to publicise a theft and that the App was a modern “people power” solution to aid the recovery of a stolen bike.

“Hopefully the App will be a one stop shop for people to find out what’s going on. It puts everything in one place so that people can have a quick look and get all of the details about thefts.”

The Cycle Oxford App is free to download on both iPhone and Android smartphone operating platforms.


For more great cycling news and stories follow us on Twitter or Facebook

See also

Second hand bike shop idea catches thieves out

Holiday in Vietnam up for grabs in GGB charity auction

from Going Going Bike – Auctions, Bike News, Cycle Stuff

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