by Dale Haslam, Aberdeen Evening Express, May 11, 2018
A new police unit is having results tackling crime in Aberdeen city centre.
Police have introduced a unit of officers on bicycles, allowing them to get places quicker than on foot and making it possible to reach areas inaccessible to cars, such as narrow lanes and one-way streets.
Since taking to the streets of the city centre and Rosemount in March, the unit has caught 27 people breaking a bylaw banning street drinking and 12 people in possession of drugs.
As well as cracking crime, officers also want to reassure the public they are on the beat and can be approached at any time.
City-centre Inspector Simon Reid said: “So far, the team has had a very positive reaction from the public with improved engagement, and has already recorded positive results in relation to issues that people who work, live and visit the city have told us about.”
He added: “We have and will continue to target antisocial behaviour in the areas we know it might be taking place, with an overall aim of preventing it from occurring in the first place.”
The unit is also working with Trading Standards to stop the sale of counterfeit goods and officers will also be out and about on their bikes at a number of summer events, such as the Tour Series Cycling.
“If you see them out and about feel free to stop them for assistance, advice or even simply to say hello,” said Insp Reid.
He told the Evening Express: “Using police vehicles in the city centre is not always ideal as you have to deal with traffic and one-way streets.
“The bikes are much more convenient when dealing with certain types of crime.
“We are pleased with the results and hope it continues.”
Insp Reid said people email the team at AberdeenCityCentreCPT@Scotland.pnn.police.uk if they have concerns they would like to raise about city-centre crime.