A KEY part of Lothian and Borders Police’s ongoing Community Commitment is for officers to be more visible and accessible to the public.
As one of the ways to help achieve this, Community Beat Officers in Coldstream, Kelso and Eyemouth are now patrolling on mountain bikes.
These patrols are intended to complement the existing foot patrols and vehicle patrols carried out by officers.
There has been a recent revival in the use of Police bikes in the UK and having been used in other areas in the Borders like Galashiels and Peebles, and by many other Forces, it has been seen that the bicycle patrol has a number of advantages.
Bikes offer a combination of high visibility, large beat-area coverage, whilst at the same time it is easy to stop and talk to people. The bikes are also more environmentally-friendly than traditional Police vehicles.
Officers on bicycles also have a stealth advantage, with the ability to quickly and quietly access areas not easily reached by patrol vehicles such as paths, tracks and playing fields.
This has been shown to be very effective in combatting youth antisocial behaviour.
Four Community Beat Officers from the East Community Policing Area completed a two-day cycle training course based on a course run by Cycle Scotland.
The training involves bike controls, road safety, Highway Code legislation, cycle safety checks and bike maintenance.
Officers were also instructed in off-road cycling techniques and even nutrition.
Throughout the course and at the end of thir training, the officers were assessed by their trainer to ensure that they are competent.
A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police told the Berwickshire News: “The general public are always telling us that they really like to see officers out and about on foot in our towns and villages and this is another, very efficient way for us to achieve this.”
Lothian and Borders Police would like to thank B and R Motors, Mr Robin Lees, McGregor Farms and Coldstream Community Council for generously contributing towards the costs of the Coldstream bicycle and equipment.