Photo: Constable Jon Round follows an officer. Picture: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser
By Jessica Cuthbert, The West Australian, 15 November, 2017
Albany police will soon be patrolling our streets on two wheels.
The bike patrol will give Albany police officers a more effective and visible presence in popular local areas.
It will be the first time bike patrols will be introduced in Albany and Albany Police Sergeant Dave Murphy said it will be an effective way of patrolling the streets.
“This week we had organised for bike trainers from Perth to come down to Albany and train a lot of the officers in one hit,” he said.
“We have had some bikes donated to us from the City of Albany so we have used them in conjunction with the training so we can introduce bike patrols in and around the CBD and those other hot spot areas around Albany.”
Sgt Murphy said the bikes had proved effective in Perth, adding many of his officers agreed the response and reaction time on the bikes was faster.
“On the bikes we can back up our guys or get to an area a lot faster than you can in a vehicle, they can see so much more and do so much more on a bike and be more agile and able to move more quickly,” he said.
Sgt Murphy said the decision to introduce bike patrols in Albany was a proactive strategy.
“Having bike patrols will mean we can have guys on the streets helping the officers and being a valuable and visible asset on the streets,” he said. “At the moment we plan to have six bikes patrolling but are hoping to gain more over time.”
First Class Constable David Avila, from Perth, said the training exercise was to show officers how to be safe on the bikes.
“The training we did down here today was all about showing the officers how to manoeuvre the bike safely and how to go down steps and public areas,” he said.
“Essentially what we were doing in the training exercise was to act as if we were chasing after someone, someone is running away from us or if a colleague is calling for backup and we want to be able to get to them as quickly as possible and safely.”
Constable Avila said the reaction and response time on the bikes were much faster than in a vehicle.
“When you are in a patrol car you are probably only getting about three contacts (interactions) per hour but on a bike you can be getting up to 7 to 8 contacts an hour,” he said. “On the bikes we’re are visible and present and the public are seeing us out and about not just driving past in a car.”
“Bikes can get into areas that patrol cars can’t, like down alleyways, in the parks and through roads that have been blocked off or roads that have been obstructed by heavy congestion.”