Cops on bikes - will crims play by the new rules?
28 October 2009 Media Statement
Cops on bikes --- will crims play by the new rules?
It is ironic that police are getting back on their bikes in Canterbury, a police district that has lost 32 vehicles in the Government’s police budget cuts, says Labour law and order spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.
“Cycle cops are a good option for increasing police visibility in the community, and Labour is all in favour of that,” Clayton Cosgrove said. “In fact, Labour was responsible for encouraging development of a new style of community policing.
“However, the Canterbury public is well aware the region has been particularly hard hit by the Government’s $21 million budget-cutting demands on police.
“Nationally more than 340 police vehicles will be lost, with 10 percent of the losses occurring in Canterbury,” Clayton Cosgrove said.
“There’s a lot to be said for letting cops be seen on bikes, but it is dubious whether criminals will play by the new protocols.
“While, as police say, bikes will allow police greater manoeuvrability in traffic, will they be able to keep up with criminals who prefer to use vehicles to commit their crimes?”
Clayton Cosgrove said that the “cycle cops” experiment would be enthusiastically supported in an environment in which the Government was maintaining or boosting police resources, “but this is happening in a context of the Government cutting police resources.
“The Government’s commitment to community safety in Canterbury is already suspect. Sadly, this initiative, no matter how well-intended, will not increase the level of public reassurance.”