Members of Rotorua Police are taking to the beat in a whole new way this summer, parking up their patrol cars and patrolling the city streets on mountain bikes.
The “back to basics” initiative to deploy bicycle patrols into the Rotorua Central Business District during the summer holidays has been met with approval by retailers, the general public and Police alike.
Rotorua Police Community Services Manager, Senior Sergeant Brent Crowe, says that as part of this season's Summer Policing plan, members of the Rotorua Community Policing Section have taken to mountain bikes in an effort to be more visible and accessible in the CBD over the busy summer months.
“Our focus was on making people visiting or working in the CBD feel safe and reassured, along with our increased presence acting as a deterrent to any potential problems."
Mr Crowe says the initiative provided fast response times to calls for service in the CBD and has seen the community section make a number of apprehensions that otherwise may have gone unreported.
"Another advantage of the bicycle patrols is the amount of ground Police can cover when compared to foot patrols or beat work.
"With the bikes, we also have the ability to patrol car parks, alleyways, reserves and tourist locations that can sometimes not be covered as effectively by car or on foot."
Senior Sergeant Crowe says the bicycle patrols were also used to assist Police set up cordons around a recent scrub fire at a local golf course and have proven especially useful in getting through traffic congestion.
“Bicycle patrols have proven to be a very useful patrol tactic and we will be looking for others ways to use them this year.”
He says the feedback on this initiative to date has been positive and encouraging and it is likely that the initiative will become a permanent part of the local Summer Policing operation.