Date12 January 2023
The Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales, Andy Dunbobbin, joined officers from Wrexham City police on Wednesday, January 11th for a special event at the Alf Jones Cycles store in Gresford to mark the handover of four electric bikes that will be used by local officers in the fight against crime.
The electric bikes have been paid for using money from the Safer Streets fund, a £75 million Home Office programme that encourages Police and Crime Commissioners and local authorities to bid for investment for initiatives to prevent neighbourhood crime. The aim of the project is to support areas experiencing crime across England and Wales, such as domestic burglary, robbery, theft, vehicle crime, anti-social behaviour (ASB), and violence against women and girls (VAWG) in public spaces, including in the night-time economy.
While North Wales Police always responds appropriately and quickly to an emergency, the geographical spread of Wrexham means that for officers on foot patrol it can often take a longer time to reach the location of lower-level offences if they do not have access to a vehicle. The use of electric bikes will hopefully reduce the times it can take to reach an incident and improve the response time from the neighbourhood policing team.
The bikes will also enable officers to target hard to reach areas such as parks, alleyways and housing estates that are not accessible by vehicle. They will also be able to intercept people involved in an incident and have a greater visible presence within the community, enhancing engagement opportunities with the public in patrolling areas where a pattern of burglaries is identified.
Not only that, but the bikes will help meet national targets around a greener public sector and a lower carbon footprint. To this end, the Welsh Government has set a target that the public sector in Wales should be net zero by 2030.
The bikes were supplied by Alf Jones Cycles and each bike is to be liveried in North Wales Police colours. They will also come with a helmet, water bottle holder, panier rack, and foot pump.
Andy Dunbobbin, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales commented: “I was delighted to visit Gresford today to see the handover of these electric bikes. I know that they prove invaluable in engaging with the local community and in fighting crime In Wrexham. Community oriented policing is hugely important to me and part of this means officers getting out among residents and being as approachable as possible.
“As well as enabling officers to reach places that response vehicles might not be able to access, such as alleys, these new bikes also have the advantage of being better for the environment and offering officers the chance of a workout at the same time. I am grateful to the team at Wrexham Police and the County Borough Council for their commitment in securing these bikes and to Alf Jones for building them – it is always a pleasure to see the services of local businesses used to help in the fight against crime.”
Inspector Claire McGrady of North Wales Police said: “Our local officers in Wrexham are very pleased to be receiving these electric bikes as they will enable them to reach incidents faster and engage further with local residents. As officers we’re also really keen to help reduce our carbon footprint in any way we can. Wrexham is already a safe community, but we should always look for new ways to make our city even safer and more secure, and I am sure these brand-new bikes will help towards achieving this goal.”
Pete Calkin, Director, Alf Jones Cycles, commented: “As North Wales’ premier and longest running cycle store, we’re proud to collaborate with North Wales Police and supply electric bikes for officers to continue providing their essential service in our communities. We were established in 1955 and, over the years, we have always been happy to get involved with local authorities and businesses to grow interest in cycling and to get involved in local social and community initiatives, and this collaboration only enhances that.”
The Police and Crime Commissioner’s team worked closely with North Wales Police, Wrexham County Borough Council, Stepping Stones, North Wales Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre, schools, justice services and third sector partners to ensure the Wrexham Safer Streets bid had as much support as possible.