Bike repair scheme keeps everyone's wheels turning

A Corrections staff member helps an offender (right) to repair a bicycle for a bike library in South Dunedin. Photo by Corrections.
A Corrections staff member helps an offender (right) to repair a bicycle for a bike library in South Dunedin. Photo by Corrections.
Offenders on community sentences are getting on their bikes to help the community.

The Community Bike Library, based in South Dunedin, has been bolstered by previously unwanted bikes being restored to their former glory.

The bikes are restored by offenders serving community sentences while under the watchful eye of a bike mechanic.

''The bike library is a great way for offenders on a community work sentence to give back to their local community,'' Corrections Service Manager Coyla Cameron said.

Corrections had heard about the Dunedin City Council-supported initiative earlier this year and decided to be involved to support the council and wider community.

''This is a project which benefits everyone involved,'' she said.

Donated bikes were dropped off to participating schools and picked up by Corrections staff.

A bike mechanic, who trained offenders, and a Corrections staff member used the donated and sometimes broken bikes to make a functioning bike.

Of those bikes, 12 had been lent to Tainui School, where the council had begun a bike safety course from December 2.

Children who improved their skills could then borrow a bike over the summer period.

Community Bike Library project manager Rose Dovey said the assistance of Corrections in restoring bikes to a high standard had been pivotal for the pilot project.

About 50 bikes had been donated and more were wanted, but not BMX bikes, for safety reasons, she said.

Staff at CycleWorld, in Stuart St, have volunteered to check a sample of two bikes out of 10 for quality and safety, and the shop provides parts at cost.

A bike pick-up can be arranged by emailing Ms Dovey on rose@motum.co.nz.

- hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz


Community Work
• Community work is one of a range of community-based sentences that can be imposed through New Zealand Courts.
• Activities include landscaping public areas, managing community garden projects, helping in charity shops and organisations, as well as supporting local schools and community groups.
• The sentence of community work requires offenders to do unpaid work in the community for non-profit organisations, as a way of making up for their offending.
• This sentence also offers an opportunity forthese individuals to develop skills beneficial to employment and develop good work habits.
• All of these attributes assist in reintegrating individuals and develop their ability to constructively contribute as members of the community.
• There are around 30,000 people on community sentences in New Zealand at any time.
• In September, 1000 people in Otago were on a community sentence.
• In the period July 1 to December 4, 47,817 hours of community work have been completed by offenders in Otago.
• Corrections is committed to the safety of the public and to reducing reoffending by 25% by 2017.

SOURCE: CORRECTIONS


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