Bike Bobbies and Cycle Cops: Real Community Policing
It was a tiny story that caught my eye. The Thai Times was reporting that the Patong Beach tourist police were reducing car patrols, and replacing them with bicycles. Said to save fuel costs for the police service while still maintaining safety. And this would seem to be borne out by a report elsewhere that in some parts of the US, cycle cops have been instrumental in a 40% drop in street crime. Whilst in the UK a bike cop is said to cost a quarter of car cop to equip, and be thirty times cheaper in annual maintenance. The International Police Mountain Bike Association (I kid you not!) state that experience "has shown that citizens are more likely to approach a bike patrol officer than even a neighborhood beat officer, optimizing community oriented or problem oriented policing efforts. ... Bike patrol officers are often able to approach suspects virtually unnoticed, even in full uniform." The IPMBA further suggests an emergency medical services (EMS) responder on bike "can mean the difference between life or death in congested or crowded conditions." To further enhance the training of cycling cops and freewheeling EMS types the IPMBA hold an annual conference. Which, as synchronicity would have it, is on right now in Ohio. Last year it attracted participants from 34 states and a heap of countries, including Australia, Canada, England, Israel, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Tobago. As the above pic indicates there were a few jokers amongst them. ::International Police Mountain Bike Association.