Versatile, innovative and highly visible three-wheeled motorbikes prove a useful tool for neighbourhood policing
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Neighbourhood officers in Northamptonshire are making good use of the Force’s fleet of innovative and distinctive petrol-electric three-wheel motorbikes, which are helping to increase officer visibility and accessibility across their beat.
The innovative hybrid motorcycles, which were developed by Northamptonshire-based White Motorcycle Concepts (WMC), were introduced 18 months ago, when Northamptonshire Police took delivery of eight of the three-wheel petrol-electric bikes for use by its neighbourhood policing teams.
PCSO Chris Asante-Ampaduh from the Corby Neighbourhood Policing team has been riding one of the bikes since last summer and is finding it invaluable in helping him to police his beat more effectively.
He said: “Here in Corby and also Kettering, we have access to two of the bikes 24/7, and since completely my training in August last year, they’ve proved to be really useful in helping me to get out and about across my beat.
“I’d previously used a push-bike to get around my patch but had never ridden a motorbike before. It was pretty intensive four-day training course run by our driver training unit, but these bikes are very user-friendly and I soon got the hang of it.
“The three-wheel bikes are very versatile, from deploying to deal with anti-social behaviour to a meet and greet event in the town centre. I’ve definitely been able to cover more of my beat more quickly on the WMC300FR than on a push-bike and it certainly has a presence.
“In particular, it’s been really effective in tackling motorcycle nuisance, helping to deter perpetrators that are likely to be causing nuisance, as it’s highly visible and can get to areas that a car couldn’t.”
The WMC300FR has unique and distinctive three-wheel design. The detachable battery can be charged using a standard three-pin plug while the innovative tunnel through the middle improves efficiency, making the bikes a versatile, cost-efficient and sustainable transport solution. It can also be ridden on a standard car driving licence.
PC Chris Tall, from the Force’s Driver Training Unit, explained more about the benefits of the WMC300FR. He said: “One of the key benefits is that because of the three-wheel design, the bikes can be ridden by anyone with a normal car licence. That said, if you haven’t ridden a motorbike before, it is different and some training is needed.
“We provide two levels of training, depending on the licence held – a one-day familiarisation course for those with a full motorcycle licence, while for those with no motorcycle experience, the training is more detailed.
“We start from the very basics right up to riding on motorways and dual carriageways, and officers can be out on the road on their beat after just forty hours training. Also, being a hybrid model, it’s cheaper to run and uses a lot less fuel, so is a greener more sustainable type of transport.”
PCSO Asante-Ampaduh added: “It’s been a really useful to have the bikes as a means to get round my patch and be out and about in the community. People know you’re there and the greater visibility has been welcomed by people in the Corby area. The bikes certainly get you noticed and people want to stop, chat and take a look – which is a great opportunity to find out any concerns they may have and get information about what’s happening in the area.
“If given a choice between having one of the bikes or a car, I’d choose one of these any day!”