Bike theft is the third highest factor in whether Calgary youth are willing to ride a bike to school, according to data collected by Youth En Route.
In some schools, youth rate it as the second highest factor. The others are weather and distance.
With that in mind, the local bike advocacy group decided to hit Calgary streets, Last-of-Us-style, and shoot a film highlighting how to prevent bike theft.
On Thursday night at the Greater Forest Lawn 55+ Centre, Youth En Route, in partnership with 12 CSI, and the Calgary police, held the “world premiere” of their new anti-bike theft video.
It’s called: Preventing Bike Theft.
The four-minute, 46-second spin covers a handful of tips for young people (anyone, really) to reduce the chance of their bike being stolen.
“We tried to come at it with a bit of a light-hearted look, showing kids how easy it is for that cable lock to just get snapped. It’s really easy,” said Laura Shutiak, Youth En Route executive director.
The film featured local youth and was filmed on a tight budget right here in Calgary. It talks about the type of lock you need, where to lock a bike and how to lock them up. It even encourages a call to 311 if there isn’t a place to lock up a bike.
“Be an advocate for secure bike storage where you need it,” the video says.
Bike theft continues to be a problem: CPS
Acting Staff Sgt. Nick Wilsher of the Calgary police said last year the CPS fielded more than 92,000 stolen bike reports. While some are repeat reports, it underscores the ongoing battle of keeping bikes safe.
“We see different trends in the way the bikes are stolen. But the biggest thing is always a crime of opportunity,” he said.
“So, we encourage people to keep their bikes secure.”
The video isn’t the first endeavour for Youth En Route when it comes to loss prevention. The mobility group has also been building specially designed new bike racks that not only provide better protection but only require a padlock rather than an expensive bike locking system.
Those are popping up at many schools across Calgary. In one instance, the rack is actually inside the foyer of the high school, said Shutiak.
They felt a video was an ideal way to provide the education portion to go along with the actual hardware to lock up bikes. As they’re a data-driven organization, they also like to be able to track how people are consuming the information.
“We kind of talked about it as sort of a way that was accessible and we could really track and measure how many views we had and sort of really tried to see the impact,” said Shutiak.
“It’s also kind of a neat way to tell the story in a funny way.”