Earlier this year the Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez made funding available for police officers and staff to improve their ability to engage and connect with communities.
Safe, resilient and connected communities are at the heart of the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan. Small grants have been made available to help kick-start innovative ideas to better connect police and communities across Devon and Cornwall.
As part of the scheme the Bodmin neighbourhood team submitted two bids for better IT and electric bikes for more visible patrol.
Used regularly, local PCs and PCSOs have clocked up some impressive mileage on the bikes over a relatively short period of time and they have certainly generated some interest in the town.
Neighbourhood Beat Manager PC Andy Currie said: “The bikes have been very popular with members of the public and have been a real talking point.
“We have been stopped by people asking questions about them and I have heard so many positive comments about how nice it is to see police on bikes.
“We can cover far more ground on them than when we are out on foot and this has led to some excellent results. One notable incident resulted in the seizure of a vehicle for no insurance which only happened due to being on the bike at the time.”
Speaking highly of the new resource Inspector James Honeywill said: “While the bikes will never replace cars or vans, they greatly enhance our ability for neighbourhood teams to be more visible, to access more remote communities and improve our engagement with the public.
“We are delighted that the OPCC has been able to fund these bikes and we’ve already seen really positive results.”
In addition, the Bodmin policing team also submitted a bid to improve their IT. With this they have managed to enhance a ‘Bodmin Shopwatch’ scheme where shopkeepers can have a direct link with each other and the police if an incident occurs in the town.
Neighbourhood Team Leader Sgt Sue Honeywill said: “The uplift in IT has allowed us to be more active on social media and link in with our hard to reach communities, keeping our accounts updated with good news stories, appeals and crime prevention advice. We have already seen an increased number of followers and the feedback we have received has been extremely positive.
“We now have a direct link with our ‘Bodmin Shopwatch' scheme through a specific app allowing for direct access with local officers. Without a doubt the scheme has improved confidence and intelligence flow with the police and has been welcomed by both retailors and officers.”
PCC Alison Hernandez said: “It’s fantastic that the Bodmin neighbourhood team has already seen positive results from the funding they received. Better connecting the police and communities is at the heart of my Police and Crime Plan.
“I am pleased to be able to provide support to help kick-start innovative projects like these - I look forward to seeing how they develop in the future.”
You can follow the Bodmin neighbourhood team on Facebook @BodminPolice and Twitter @Bodmin_Police.