Electric bikes have made their way to the south Wales valleys where they are helping to fight crime and tackle anti-social behaviour.
South Wales Police introduced the bikes to its fleet after positive reports from other law enforcement agencies across the world.
And now the bikes are having a positive impact this side of the pond, the south Wales valleys, having been acquired by Chief Superintendent Dorian Lloyd who heads-up policing across Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil.
The bikes are perfect for the tough and unforgiving terrain which makes up the region – they enable officers to take-on the steepest of inclines with ease and even to go off road.
Following a pilot in the region, officers who used the bikes reported being able to cover three times as much ground in a single shift.
Chief Superintendent Dorian Lloyd said: “The bikes are fantastic for a number of reasons – they get us to places much faster than it would take the average officer on foot, or with a normal bike, and we use them to patrol the areas that our cars, motorbikes and even conventional bikes cannot reach.”
The bikes are equipped with an electric motor which offers officers assistance up to 15mph – anything more than that, and the officers will be relying on their own pedal power. They are also equipped with batteries which will give 130 to 140 assisted miles on each charge, allowing officers to patrol far more widely than they would on foot.
He added: “We have unique challenges here in the south Wales valleys – the terrain and the remoteness of many areas, whilst being a wonderful asset to the region, can unfortunately provide cover for criminal activity, and attract anti-social and disruptive behaviour such as deliberate grass fires, illegal use of off road motorcycles, and fly-tipping, which impacts significantly on local communities.
“By utilising these electric bikes, our officers will be in a position to target their patrols far more effectively and respond to incidents more quickly than ever before, and they are so much more visible and accessible. Being seen in the community is important to us and for the people who live here – using electric bikes makes officers far more visible and at the same time accessible to the public.”
Police data shows that the use of e-bikes can double or even treble the ground covered by a typical foot patrol making it possible to cover much larger areas or the same ground twice or three times over in the same amount of time.
Policing benefits of e-bikes:
- Faster response in certain places, especially in congested areas.
- Stealth approach on contact with suspects.
- Ability to patrol for longer periods.
- Easier to patrol difficult terrain such as mountains, walking trails, steep roads and parks.
- More personable interactions with the public.
- Less risk of injury and fatigue to officers.