Bike Patrol making markWritten by Editor
Police officers on bikes are no longer a television image of tropical Hawaii or sunny Miami Beach. Fit men in Dickees shorts can now be seen regularly patrolling the streets of Charlestown. Many a motorist has been seen this week receiving a traffic ticket from members of the patrol unit.
Commissioner of Police C. G. Walwyn in presenting two bicycles for use by Police Officers of the Charlestown Police Station and Cotton Ground Police Station during his address at the December opening of the Cotton Ground Police Station said the cycles would help with their patrol efforts.
Recent statements made by the top cop that “Crime has been reduced in the Federation,” and “Homicides are down significantly and represent less than 2 percent of our crime report to date have been used to boost the case that officials have been making that they are ‘taking back our streets.’ The increased surveillance by the police through bike patrols should further reassure the public and should go a long way towards rebuilding public trust in the ability of law enforcement to serve and to protect.
Studies have shown that the bicycle is one of the quickest modes of transport in urban areas especially over short distances. It makes perfect sense then that they be used in our urban centers, which are characterized by short distances and tight spaces. Law enforcement in the USA and across Europe have used the bike in their community policing efforts with much success.
www.bikepatrol.nl outlines several advantages afforded to British Police Bike teams. A bicycle officer is very mobile in urban areas; can routinely patrol many areas not covered by vehicles or foot patrol; can see and hear more than an officer in a patrol vehicle since the officer is in the open; can respond quickly when large crowds may cause a problem for vehicles; and can approach crimes in progress before seen by the suspects.
All would welcome the above advantages. Elsewhere bike patrol officers are specially trained in methods that make this type of policing successful. It is hoped that plans are afoot to train local officers in these methods so that the federation would reap the full benefits of this type of policing.
Wisdom dictates that at best the recent addition to bike patrol this is a beginning.