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Police force puts bobbies on battery-powered bikes.

Byline: By Darren Devine Western Mail

One Welsh police force is turning back to the humble bicycle in its fight against crime - only thistime bobbies will be relying on battery-powered pedal power. Under operation 'Dambusters' North Wales Police plans to use electric mountain bikes to help it tackle vandalism and criminal damage in Wrexham.

Inspector Chris Beasley said the move back to cycles is more than just a sentimental gimmick.

'It's not just about nostalgia,' he said, 'Policemen on bikes were much-loved because they were accessible and it gave the public what they wanted.

'Neighbourhood policing is about returning to tried and tested methods. When I go to community meetings people say they are prepared to pay extra Council Tax for better community policing. This is about being visible and bringing the bike into the modern age.'

Mr Beesley said three bikes, which can travel up to 30 miles on 10p worth of electricity, cost the force pounds 1,950 - far less than the price of a new car.

But the inspector denied the move was about penny-pinching and said the bikes, which have a maximum speed of 15mph, are more effective for dealing with criminal damage than using cars.

'We cannot keep pulling emergency response vehicles off robberies and car crime, but we had to come up with something to provide a quicker response to complaints of criminal damage and that's where the bikes come in.'
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 24, 2007
Words:237
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