Police and community safety officers are using pedal power to cut their carbon emissions while supporting their communities, with the help of a Cornwall Council e-bike programme.
Devon & Cornwall Police is collaborating with the Council on a government-funded national pilot using e-bikes to improve the visibility of Community Safety Officers, Antisocial Behaviour Officers, Police Officers and Police Community Support Officers in towns across Cornwall.
Since the Tour of Britain event in Penzance last September officers in the town have been trialling two e-bikes as part of their work engaging with residents and reducing anti-social behaviour.
Now the scheme is being expanded to police and community safety teams in nine more towns across Cornwall as well as to the Isles of Scilly as part of a Department for Transport-funded pilot to make it easier for people to use electric bikes.
For the first time this month police and PCSOs will use the e-bikes in St Ives, Falmouth, Torpoint, Newquay, Bodmin, Liskeard, Truro, Camborne and Hayle to improve community engagement and safety while reducing anti-social behaviour and improving the local environment.
With road transport being a major contributor to carbon dioxide emissions the Council is committed to providing infrastructure to help residents and visitors make healthy and sustainable choices about how they travel.
The e-bike initiative also involves the Council partnering with Wheels to Work to provide e-bikes to residents facing transport barriers in getting to work, education or training.
Roadshow events are also being held where visitors can try out e-bikes and find out how they work, how much they cost to run and the benefits to health and the environment.
Active travel minister Trudy Harrison and Truro and Falmouth MP Cherilyn Mackrory recently attended an e-bike roadshow in Falmouth to see the pilot which is the first of its type in the country.
Trudy Harrison said: “E-cycles offer a huge number of advantages, not only giving riders an efficient and healthy travel option, but also helping communities to benefit from reduced congestion in the area. Now Devon & Cornwall Police will also be able to see these benefits and more as e-cycles play a part in keeping our streets safe.”
Councillor Philip Desmonde, Cornwall’s cabinet member for transport, said: “With the success of the e-bike pilot in Penzance as part of the Tour of Britain event we’re continuing to expand our e-bikes to help our Community Safety Officers, Police Community Support Officers and others reduce their impact on the planet as well as helping them in their everyday work supporting their communities.
“Research shows that around a third of journeys made by car are of less than 5km, so using e-bikes instead could be a lower carbon alternative.
“More e-bike roadshows will be taking place throughout the year so come along and find out how you can swap four wheels for two as a way to cut your carbon footprint and improve your health.”
Ian Thompson, Superintendent for Devon & Cornwall Police, said: “We are delighted to continue our collaboration with Cornwall Council in this sustainability project.
“At Devon & Cornwall Police, we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and encouraging our officers and staff to support our communities more sustainably.
“The use of e-Bikes offers a real opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint but also has genuine health benefits to officers and, additionally, increases officer visibility and therefore accessibility to the public.”