1:00pm Wednesday 25th July 2012
By Emily Roberts
OFFICERS from Basingstoke police station welcomed a new recruit to their neighbourhood cycle team when their chief constable joined them for a shift.
Hampshire top cop Alex Marshall accompanied the Feds on Peds, as they are known by their hundreds of Twitter followers, around the streets of Basingstoke on their patrol on July 13. Mr Marshall donned a cycle helmet and joined PC Rich Heard and Sergeant Paul Markham in Oakridge and Popley.
Engagement with the community The neighbourhood cycle patrols are now regularly used throughout Basingstoke as another way of patrolling areas which are not easily accessible in a patrol car, and to encourage engagement with the community.
PC Heard said: “During the shift, a man who had recently been released from prison was stopped and spoken to by local officers and Mr Marshall. This is just the sort of informal engagement work that is ideally suited to cycle patrol officers. “When you’re on a bike, you can easily stop and speak to people, much more easily than if you’re in a car.”
The team got drenched in a downpour, but following a cup of tea, they were back out on patrol again. Next, they came across a victim of assault, and because of the officers’ local knowledge, a man was quickly arrested by the chief constable in connection with the incident, and handed over to the investigation team at Basingstoke police station.
A man wanted for shoplifting offences was also spotted by Sgt Markham, and was arrested. The team then received information about nuisance behaviour in Brighton Hill, which had been reported via the 101 number and posted on the @BasingstokeCops Twitter account.
The patrol was diverted to the area to deal with the problem. Mr Marshall said: “I am very grateful to members of the team for taking me out on patrol on Friday evening and showing me how they use cycle patrols in their area. “I am particularly impressed with the way they have used this type of policing to engage with their local communities and provide a visible presence on the streets of Basingstoke.”
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