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November 2018
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It's An Emergency – Quick Get On Your Bike!

The bobby on the bike is making a comeback as police forces ditch their panda cars and get peddling. Constabularies nationwide are fighting crime and costs with cycles.

The police aren’t alone, increasingly emergency services are answering the call of the cycle. And they are buying them at Halfords.

Halfords the UK’s leading retailer of leisure and family bikes has seen a significant increase in the sale of cycles especially designed for the emergency services.

-Fighting crime means being mobile, and perhaps surprisingly it’s bikes not cars that are proving an increasingly effective weapon, says Clair Allen, who heads up the Halfords 999 bikes initiative. -In many instances bikes are the most cost-effective, efficient and environmentally friendly way of getting officers to the scene.

Most UK police forces now include cycle squads and, in addition to standard patrol work, officers are successfully targeting shoplifting, street crime and even drug trafficking.

North Yorkshire Police introduced a mountain bike team in 2001 and specially trained officers have used Halfords cycles to great effect.

PC Ed Rogerson of the Harrogate Safer Neighbourhood Team said: -The bikes certainly cut response times and I’m regularly first on the scene at incidents because I can use alleyways and back streets to respond quickly. You have the added bonus of stealth.

The Association of Chief Police Officers added: -ACPOS fully supports the use of police mountain bicycles which provide an additional patrolling option to supplement patrols on foot and using police vehicles. As well as the environmental benefits, officers can negotiate town and city centres quickly allowing a faster response to incidents than on foot.

Crime isn’t the only emergency being tackled from a saddle. Firemen in several London boroughs, West Midlands, Devon and Somerset and Greater Manchester are now cycling.

West Midlands Fire Service turned to Halfords when they formed a Community Cycle Team to tackle persistent arson attacks in hot-spots across the region. Within just three months the number of incidents in the trial areas dropped by more than 85 per cent, saving £195K.

The scheme was hailed as a ‘financially resounding success’, which also achieved a ‘massive reduction in carbon emissions’ and helped ‘win the confidence of young people within the target areas.’

Paramedics are also switching to cycles, the London Ambulance Service employs paramedics on cycles at all of Heathrow’s five terminals, dealing with an average of 400 emergency calls a month. Paramedics on bikes are to be used on site for London’s 2012 Olympics.

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