Wednesday, 5 March, 2014 - 09:26, voxy.co.nz
Police officers patrolling the South Auckland suburb of Papakura have implemented bicycle patrols which have been proved an invaluable addition to the community.
Over the past four weeks, the Papakura East Neighbourhood Policing Team has clocked up over 100 hours of bicycle patrols which have received continuous positive feedback from the public. The bike patrols allow the team to patrol walkways and parks which would otherwise only be accessible by foot.
Sergeant Jono Chappell of the Papakura East Neighbourhood Policing Team says the bike patrols allow interaction with a greater number of people in the community.
"There wouldn't be a 15 minute period where we do not receive positive comments about the bike patrols," he says. "A big part of working in a Neighbourhood Policing Team is engaging with the community and the bikes have been a very valuable addition for the team.
"We have also been able to ensure a quick response and resolution for a number of jobs which may otherwise have been out of reach."
Some of the great results the team has had from bike patrols include:
- Apprehended two suspected burglars hiding in a park
- Apprehended three young people smoking synthetic cannabis
- Located a stolen vehicle following an aggravated robbery
- Arrested a man who was breaching bail
- Located three truant students
- Apprehended a car thief
The bike patrol initiative has also been part of a bicycle education programme for the whole community.
"Our concern is that we have encountered a high number of children under the age of 10 riding scooters or bike without helmets," says Sergeant Chappell. "A number of these young people have never owned a helmet.
"We have issued approximately 40 verbal warnings for cyclists not wearing helmets as well as a number of infringement notices for people found to be repeatedly failing to adhere to our advice and the law which requires a helmet to be worn.
"However we are happy to report that after only four weeks of bike patrols we have seen an increase in the number of cyclists complying with the law and wearing a helmet. We expect that we will continue to see more children wearing helmets while on bikes and scooters and that this behaviour is encouraged by parents throughout the community."
The bike patrol initiative in Papakura is supported by Auckland Transport.