Chad wrote me with a good idea. He thinks the Toronto Police should give the 2500 unclaimed backs back to Torontonians. Specifically, to the less fortunate.
Here's his plan in his words:
I've been trying to work through an idea in my head for a while ... getting bikes into the hands of those who need them most. After last weeks announcement of Toronto Police finding all those stolen bikes ... I think I may have thought of a starting point. What if we just gave the bikes away? Conventional practice is for Police to auction the bikes as "proceeds of crime" but I think 2500 more bikes on the road could be good for the city and it citizens.
I'm aware of a British initiative in which a small town in the midlands gave all residence in their public housing complexes bicycles. Obviously Toronto has more than 2500 people living in subsidizing housing - but perhaps an offer to those folks first would work. I'm wondering what your thoughts are on the idea ... you have a lot more experience and far more ties to the cycling advocacy community.
The Bike Union forwarded my message on to the Toronto Police Service and got the following response:
We have also received messages like the one below. Unfortunately our legal advice says the Police Services Act precludes us from doing that.
Director of Public Information
Toronto Police Service
416 808 7088
I'm wondering if this idea can get some traction in the media and the community we may be able to influence what ultimately happens to these bikes.
I like it.
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