Number: A 0604 Date Published: 18 January 2023 Version 4 – January 2023
1.0 Summary of changes
This procedure has undergone its three yearly review. A new EIA has been linked and author details updated. No change to procedure content has been made.
2.0 What this Procedure is about
This procedure is to provide guidance to officers, staff and managers surrounding the training, provision of uniform and use of pedal cycles for officers and staff within Essex Police.
3.0 Detail the Procedure
Pedal cycles will primarily be used for routine uniformed patrols in order to increase the range, mobility and capability of patrols. They will help to provide a highly visible presence and provide public re-assurance. Officers engaged in cycle patrol will book on as such with the Force Control Room.
Officers must be aware of and comply with the rules for cyclists in the Highway Code.
They must be professional and not use the pedal cycle in such a way that would be illegal or could cause embarrassment to or adversely affect the reputation of Essex Police.
Officers are to be aware of motor vehicles and pedestrians at all times. They are responsible for their own well-being and that of their colleagues, other road users and pedestrians.
Before an officer uses a cycle to patrol areas other than a public highway, they should ensure that permission has been obtained to enter the land and any conditions complied with.
No unauthorised accessories or alterations are to be made to the pedal cycle. No police markings, or supplied accessories, are to be removed without authority.
Pedal cycles should only be used by staff that have undertaken and passed the Force approved basic training course.
Officers must apply for a basic training course using eform LFL005. Prior to attending the course, the officer will obtain a cycle helmet from Uniform Stores.
The standard of fitness will be the same as for full patrol duties. It will be the responsibility of each officer to bring to the attention of their supervisor any condition that may render them unfit for cycle patrol.
If a supervising officer has any reason to doubt the fitness of an officer to perform cycle patrols, they should prevent that officer from continuing with such patrols and inform their Inspector. A referral will also be made to Occupational Health.
Only officers who have attended and passed the advanced training course are authorised to take part in a pursuit. This course is in addition to the basic training course.
The safety of the public will be the primary concern for any officer engaged in such a pursuit. In line with their training, officers must conduct a dynamic risk assessment of the situation before pursuing a suspect.
The dynamic risk assessment will require consideration of the following:
Road or Highway conditions;
Suitability of terrain;
Environmental conditions including weather and lighting;
Seriousness of the offence;
Whether or not the suspect is known;
The immediacy of any police action;
Whether the suspect is armed;
PLAN (Proportionate, Legal, Accountable, Necessary) principles.
During the process of conducting a dynamic risk assessment of the pursuit, officers must alert the Force Control Room (FCR).
In circumstances where officers are engaged in the pursuit of suspects and any persons are injured as a consequence of the pursuit, the district duty Inspector must be informed via the FCR to begin an appropriate investigation. In the event that death or serious injury occurs, Professional Standards must be informed as soon as practicable. Media Services and Health and Safety should also be notified of the circumstances. If this is outside office hours there is an on call facility available through FCR.
Uniform Stores will supply all cycle equipment, although arrangements for this can only be made once Uniform Stores are updated that the officer has passed the cycle course.
Officers will patrol in uniform and wear the following:
Cycle helmet (obtained from Uniform Stores prior to cycle training);
Fluorescent jacket (standard issue to all PCSOs when joining);
Gloves (standard issue to all PCSOs when joining);
Cycle clips (on application to Uniform Stores having passed the cycle course).
On completion of training it is recommended that riders ask Uniform Stores for protective eye wear but this is not issued as PPE.
Equipment should be worn so that it does not present a danger to the rider or the public in general. Arnold style batons should not be carried. Uniform and equipment should not be capable of becoming caught up in the wheels or mechanics.
A cycle helmet must be worn and fastened correctly at all times whilst cycling.
When an officer leaves their role and has no further use of the cycle uniform they must return it to Uniform Stores for reallocation. In addition, officers must inform Uniform Stores of the need to amend the officer’s uniform entitlement.
3.4 Cycle Patrol in Plain Clothes and Covert Use
There may be operational requirements for officers to use pedal cycles for covert purposes. Officers conducting such patrols or operations will comply with this procedure. Officers must have undertaken the basic training course and in particular should wear a cycle helmet. Plain helmets are available from uniform stores where a marked helmet could compromise the operation. This may apply in test purchasing or undercover operations.
A cycle left unattended should be locked and secured to a suitable point using the lock supplied. Pannier bags should be unclipped and taken with the officer and not left with an un-attended cycle. Accessories that can be detached quickly from the cycle should be removed.
In the event of the cycle being stolen, a supervisor must be notified immediately. The theft should be recorded and enquiries commenced to locate it.
4.0 Equality Impact Assessment
EIA – December 2022
5.0 Risk Assessment
Officers should be aware of becoming dehydrated whilst conducting cycle patrols and must take responsibility to ensure that they carry and consume an appropriate amount of fluid. A dynamic risk assessment should be carried out by staff prior to going out on patrol taking into account such issues as weather conditions, time of day and visibility.
Failure to maintain cycles correctly will create risks to the user and potentially impact upon the professional image of the Police Service. Cycles should be serviced at a minimum of 12 monthly intervals – See T 07101 Procedure/SOP – Vehicle Maintenance.
This policy is compliant with the requirements of Health & Safety legislation and internal Health & Safety procedures.
The following have been consulted during the formulation of this document:
Equality and Diversity Co-ordinator
Health & Safety
Strategic Change Team
FCR Chief Inspector
7.0 Monitoring and Review
This procedure will be subject to monitoring and evaluation by the procedure owner to ensure it remains accurate, compliant with legislation and fit for purpose.
This procedure will be reviewed every three years by, or on behalf of, the Head of Local Policing Support Unit.
8.0 Governing Force policy.
Related Force policies or related procedures
A 0600 Policy - Community Policing
T 07101 Procedure/SOP – Vehicle Maintenance
8.1 Data Security
Essex Police have measures in place to protect the security of data in accordance with our Information Management Policy – W 1000 Policy – Information Management.
8.2 Retention & Disposal of Records
Essex Police will hold data in accordance with our Records Review, Retention & Disposal Policy – W 1012 Procedure/SOP - Records Review, Retention and Disposal.
We will only hold data for as long as necessary for the purposes for which we collected. Victims/public should be reminded that Essex Police take the protection of personal data seriously as described in the privacy notice.
9.0 Other source documents, e.g., legislation, Authorised Professional Practice (APP), Force forms, partnership agreements (if applicable)
Kent Police – Mountain Bike Patrol Governing Policy O45f