Horsham police look to revive bicycle patrol

Minyip Senior Constable David Flannery on bike patrol in Minyip. Horsham is also looking to revive its bicycle patrol. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

Minyip Senior Constable David Flannery on bike patrol in Minyip. Horsham is also looking to revive its bicycle patrol. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

HORSHAM police want to revive the city’s bicycle patrol.

Senior Sergeant Brendan Broadbent said two ageing bicycles were all that remained of Horsham’s bicycle unit, which has been inactive for about 10 years.

“We previously had members qualified to do bike patrols,” he said.

“As a result of those members moving on, we lost those qualifications.”

He said money raised by Friday's Horsham Lights and Sirens Ball could see police back on their bikes.

The event will raise money for Horsham police.

“It would provide another medium of patrolling,” Mr Broadbent said.

“This is a way we can cover a fair area and have a closer connection with the community.”

He said there were some disadvantages to patrolling in a police car.

Police members on bicycles were able to hear what was going on around them and see from a higher vantage point than people seated in a car.

Subsequently, Mr Broadbent said they might be able to identify different offences.

He said bike patrols would be perfect for policing community events.

Two wheels might make for a speedier response than two feet.

Members of the bicycle patrol could also be called on to teach people about bicycle safety and deliver road safety messages.

“Ideally we would be looking at four members to be qualified and outfitted, and at least two bikes at the station to ensure patrols can take place,” Mr Broadbent said.

He said the existing bicycles, which were donated to Horsham police, would need to be upgraded or replaced.

The bikes would have to be speedy, but suitable for all terrain.

“We would have to send members  to Geelong to go through a course,” Mr Broadbent said.

“It’s not about teaching them how to ride a bike, it’s about the strategic and tactical use of the bike and how it can be used when confronted with an offender or intercepting vehicles.”

He said the amount of money raised by Friday night’s event would determine how police decided to invest it.

Police would need to be sure a bicycle unit was sustainable, now and into the future.

Horsham Lights and Sirens Ball organising committee member Crystal Sanders said the group aimed to raise more than $10,000.

About 160 people have bought tickets for the formal event.

For the first time, the ball will be at Horsham Golf Club and includes a two-course meal.

Miss Sanders said doors would open at 7pm and tickets were $60 a person.

She said people could call her on 0438 545 418 for further information.

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