Sunderland police issued with mountain bikes to target crime in parks

Police Communirty Support Officers at Houghton Police Station with their new bikes from funding from the Local Multi-Agency Problem Solving Initiative and Gentoo. Pictured l-r are, PCSO's Simon Greaves, Laurence Casey,  Mike Orchard Neighbourhood Enforcement Officer Gentoo, PCSO's Harvey Kirkup and Jaimie Donmall
Police Communirty Support Officers at Houghton Police Station with their new bikes from funding from the Local Multi-Agency Problem Solving Initiative and Gentoo. Pictured l-r are, PCSO's Simon Greaves, Laurence Casey, Mike Orchard Neighbourhood Enforcement Officer Gentoo, PCSO's Harvey Kirkup and Jaimie Donmall
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POLICE are getting on their bikes to make the streets safer.

After the recent purchase of four new mountain bikes, officers in the area are looking forward to using pedal power to keep criminals on the run.

The bikes will be used by Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) to patrol the areas, combating disorder and underage drinking. Due to their almost silent approach, they are also ideal to tackle burglary and car crime.

Inspector Lisa Musgrove said: “Bikes provide a visible, accessible and reassuring police presence on our streets, and we know the public want to see our officers patrolling in neighbourhoods.

“They also allow officers to quickly cover ground that patrol cars can’t, such as hard-to-reach areas like parks and busier estates.

“Bikes also help officers engage with young people more, so we’re pleased we have our new cycles in time for the Easter school holidays when more youngsters will be out and about and reports of antisocial behaviour tend to increase.

“I’d encourage anyone who sees our officers on patrol on their bikes to say hello and raise any concerns they have with them.”

Michelle Meldrum, deputy director at Gentoo Living, which has been involved in the scheme, said: “We are committed to working with other agencies to tackle antisocial behaviour and crime across the city.

“We will continue to work with agencies such as Northumbria Police to ensure our approach helps to make our communities a safer place to live.”

Councillor Harry Trueman, chairman of the Safer Sunderland Partnership, added: “People seeing police officers out in their communities, patrolling on their bikes, often feel more inclined to come forward and chat to them.

“Being seen out and about not only makes officers more visible to the public but also appear more approachable.

“We hope everyone will take the time to stop and chat, and establish the closer links which help to prevent and discourage any problems with antisocial behaviour from developing.”

Twitter: @craigjourno