Cops get on their bikes

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Can­nons Creek res­i­dents may see their lo­cal po­lice in a new light from now on – and most cer­tainly at a new speed.

The Neigh­bour­hood Polic­ing Team re­ceived two moun­tain bikes, cour­tesy of iRide, last week.

The bikes are brain­child of Con­sta­ble Baz Murfin, and the con­sta­bles will be expected to take to two wheels sev­eral times a week. The bikes will al­low them to get off the beaten track in eastern Porirua, keep fit and, most im­por­tantly, pro­vide a vi­tal tool to en­gage with the community.

Con­sta­ble Andy Alexan­der has rid­den bi­cy­cles as an on­duty po­lice­man in Bri­tain and the West Indies. He says it is prac­ti­cal and makes po­lice more vis­i­ble. Po­lice see more when on foot pa­trol or on the bikes, he says.

‘‘It’s a chance to do some of that old-style polic­ing. It will def­i­nitely make us more ap­proach­able as we want to get to know peo­ple around here more. I think peo­ple are more likely to talk to us if we’re on bikes than in a car. In a po­lice car you are hid­den away.’’

Bi­cy­cles are used by po­lice in Christchurch, but Kapi­tiMana po­lice area com­man­der In­spec­tor John Price be­lieves they are the first neigh­bour­hood team in the coun­try to use them.

‘‘I want to in­crease foot pa­trols across the Kapi­tiMana dis­trict and I think bikes are a fan­tas­tic way of po­lice be­ing more vis­i­ble and pro­vid­ing that re­as­sur­ance to res­i­dents.

‘‘It’s a talk­ing point, you’re likely to stop and talk to them on a bike. With the high re­liance on cars to­day, those con­nec­tions with the community can get lost.’’

Pedal power: Kapiti-Mana area com­man­der John Price, left, is un­likely to be seen cy­cling Cham­pion St on one of the new po­lice moun­tain bikes, but Peer Neilsen and Andy Alexan­der will be. They were joined last Wed­nes­day by An­drew Young from iRide, who pre­sented one of the new bikes.

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