Brentwood: Community Policing Team get on their bikes to combat crime
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Brentwood Community Policing Team (CPT) have taken to two wheels to combat crime and anti-social behaviour in the district.
The team, based at the Town Hall, have added two electric bikes to their selection of police vehicles thanks to funding from the Brentwood Community Safety Partnership – the group that brings together the police, council and other public services.
The e-bikes will allow the team to move quickly around the traffic-heavy town centre and access places that would be time-consuming to get to on foot.
With a large number of people passing though the town on a daily basis, a number of schools and a busy train station, any minutes the CPT can save by using the bikes can make all the difference when it comes to catching offenders, preventing incidents from escalating and helping people in need.
Anti-social behaviour is down by 37% in the district in the last 12 months, and PC Rebecca Ryan of Brentwood CPT is confident the flexibility the bikes offer will help the team to combat crime and ASB.
She said: “Our team had seen bikes being used in other areas of the force and we thought they’d work well in our district as traffic congestion can be an issue at times in the town, and we’d be able to patrol rural areas that are inaccessible by car.
“We were grateful for Community Safety Partnership funding and so far, the bikes have been a success. The reaction from the public has been really positive as we’re a highly visible presence, we can get to incidents at speed but still stop and talk to people on the street, which wouldn’t happen as often if we were in a car.
“A lot of our beats are quite rural – we’ve been to areas in Kelvedon Hatch and Doddinghurst that we can’t get to by car and wouldn’t form part of a foot patrol.
“We are also planning to start using the bikes at night as we target criminal activity in rural areas. Police cars are very visible and easy to spot, especially in quiet villages. The bikes are far more discreet.”
The cycling CPT officers have taken a training course to make sure they’re road safe before heading out on two wheels, and PC Ryan said the bikes have been a hit with the team.
“The team like keeping fit so have been really keen to get out on the bikes, but as the bikes are electric, even if the officers stop pedalling, the bikes will keep going.”
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