Police motorbikes set for return

ESSEX Police looks set to bring back motorbikes to patrol the county's roads.The force is proposing to reinstate an additional six motorcycles across the county, to work alongside two already used purely for education and training.

By Sharon Asplin

ESSEX Police looks set to bring back motorbikes to patrol the county's roads.

The force is proposing to reinstate an additional six motorcycles across the county, to work alongside two already used purely for education and training.

The move is likely to be agreed at the Essex Police Authority meeting on Monday.


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The main aim of bringing motorcycles back is to clear criminals from Essex roads and to significantly reduce the number of motorcyclist fatalities and casualties.

There was an outcry in 1999 when the force decided to axe its motorcycle unit as part of £7million budget cuts.

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Former Chief Constable David Stevens had to balance the books in a year which saw a substantial deficit in the Home Office budget settlement.

The reinstated motorcycles will also assist in policing hotspots for crime and disorder and can be used to arrive at incidents more efficiently.

It is anticipated that the reintroduction of marked motorcycles will:

n provide an effective resource to prevent and detect crime, increase detection rates and make a positive impact on anti-social behaviour;

n further reduce casualty figures for all road users;

n deter criminals from using the roads by increasing the perception of being caught through the deployment of a highly visible resource;

n improve operational options for policing the county's roads;

n provide reassurance to the public through high visibility policing.

The vehicles can also be used to support operations and events such as the annual V concert and air shows. They will be able to provide a rapid response to major incidents for scene preservation and intelligence gathering and can be used to carry out specialist escorts.

Essex Chief Constable Roger Baker said: “Motorcycles can be used for a whole range of policing services.

“They are a vital and proven tool in tackling crime and reducing the number of deaths on our roads.

”Essex Police figures for motorcyclists deaths in 2005 have significantly reduced since last year and we intend to see this trend continue.”

So far in 2005 there have been 16 deaths of motorcycle riders. There have been 77 accidents in total on our roads which have caused 81 deaths.

In 2004 there were 102 accidents with 105 fatalities and 29 of those deaths were motorcycle riders.

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