Cops get on their bikes
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.