This comes from the Department of Transport:-
“A pilot project two years ago evaluated the benefits of using mountain bikes for police duties. Since then, the number of bikes has increased from 30 to 400, with over 550 officers trained in their use, and further substantial increases are planned. The bikes have improved officers’ performance on the job, and their use includes street crime, plain-clothes surveillance, tackling anti-social behaviour, community policing and public order events.
A police mountain bike training course was developed, drawing on experience in the United States, covering specific policing activities, as were appropriate standards for clothing and a recommended bike.
Despite initial scepticism among officers, the mountain bike teams have proven highly effective, and very popular with the public. Their speed and versatility make them very effective in pursuing suspects and making arrests within estates and through traffic. Merits of the scheme include:
more effective policing – increased arrests
closer contact with the public
improved fitness and well-being of police officers and reduced levels of sickness
“Cycle patrols have led to more effective policing and have made a real impact on areas suffering from anti-social behaviour and drug problems,”
Inspector Anthony Moore, Metropolitan Police.
Usage by police officers raises the status of cycling. The MPS used strict management analysis to evaluate the merits of equipping officers with bikes.