By Jessica Nico, Community Comment News, November 15th, 2017
PATROLLING on two wheels is giving Armadale Police a more effective, visible presence in popular local spaces.
Bike patrols have become a useful tool for the Armadale Police since they were introduced in July, supplementing the already effective foot patrols around the Armadale CBD and shopping precinct, the Kelmscott shopping centres and the train line between Kelmscott and Armadale.
Armadale Police senior sergeant Glenn Spencer said the bike patrols had been introduced after feedback from the public about the visibility of police in the CBD – and they saw results almost immediately.
“The bicycles are more agile and faster than foot patrols, provide better access to areas where vehicles cannot access, and they are a visible deterrent,” he said.
“The bikes had immediate success the first day they were used, with the arrest of a youth in Armadale for stealing after he tried to get away on his bicycle across the footbridge over the train line.
“Officers on foot wouldn’t have been able to catch him and police cars would have had to go around the roads and train line to get to the other side.
“The bikes were able to catch him within the first hour that they started patrols and within minutes of the offence.”
Snr Sgt Spencer said the success stories had continued.
“On November 1,4 a group of four youths were arrested after they stole bicycles from a local school and used those bikes to commit burglary offences,” he said.
“Bicycle patrol officers saw the youths and with the assistance of a police vehicle, arrested the four suspects and recovered three of the bikes.”
Snr Sgt Spencer said a combination of car and bike patrols had helped them target crime hotspots in the area and reduce reported crime by 21 per cent.
“The use of bikes, beats and vehicles enables us to be dynamic and flexible in the areas we target and methods we use to respond to or prevent crime,” he said.