Leicestershire Police have turned to BMXs in their duties, making the force what is believed to be the first to use cycles from the sector.
Distributor Moore Large has donated Haro F3 BMXs to the Leicestershire Police force free-of-charge. The bikes will be used in visits to schools where officers provide advice on checking bikes for safety, carrying out road manoeuvres safely and bike security.
Using BMX bikes has distinct advantages in dealing with younger members of the community, according to PCSO Vince Preston, from Oadby and Wigston local policing unit.
He said: “It is a size the children can get on, and it helps build a rapport with them. Kids are more open to speaking to you than if you are on a larger bike or on foot patrol. In the majority of cases a BMX is quicker than a mountain bike, it’s easier to manoeuvre.”
The PCSOs are rising the Haro F3 model, picked for being an all-rounder, according to Biggs. The F3 features 3+ tube Chromoly frame, three-piece cranks, 25-9T ratio gearing, U-Style brakes on the front and rear, four stunt pegs and full 360 degree gyro.
PCSO Preston added that bikes have advantages over cars in catching criminals: “In a car, they can hear you a mile off, but on a bike you are virtually silent. This area has lots of alleyways which I know and can use, so often I can get to an incident at least as quickly as colleagues in a car.
"And while you are on patrol, you can communicate with members of the public which you can’t do if you are driving past in a patrol car, and you can also see and smell more than being in a car.”
Moore Large's Haro brand manager Adam Garner said: “We are delighted to be involved in this fantastic project, Haro is one of the biggest BMX brands in the world so we are hoping it will help gain respect between the police and Leicestershire’s youth.
"We look forward to supporting Leicestershire Police force over the coming months and watching the project make a positive influence on the local community.”