Members of VicPol Mildura have undergone training to become part of the police bike patrol capability that is being introduced in the region.
Road policing members from Melbourne visited Mildura recently to train a group of local police in the use of the bikes.
The trainers spent a week here instructing the members on how to operate and control the bikes in a variety of circumstances.
Fifteen members in total volunteered to take part in the training and gained their qualifications for the bike patrol which will roll-out around the district soon.
The members were instructed in safe riding techniques including how to ride through traffic, crowd control, traffic enforcement and general patrol duties. The bike patrols will carry out many of the same duties of general policing, including dealing with missing persons, conducting searches and also attending events in a public relation capacity.
In the same way that police walk around the streets ‘on the beat’, the bike patrols will maintain a highly visible presence in the community, but with the added advantage of being able to travel considerable distances and negotiate difficult to access locations.
This is one of the distinct advantages of the bikes, which allow police to traverse areas that cars can’t easily access.
Mildura Police’s Senior Sergeant Daron Hulls said that the team was taught different safety techniques, one of which will enable them to adapt to the different surfaces they may have to ride over.
“They learn to travel over gravel, grass, loose sand, stairs and gutters,” he said. “They’re also trained in safety precautions, for example, to look for hazard identification, particularly, when they are riding along at speed. That includes watching out for driver behaviours, like car doors being opened in their path.
“Bicycle maintenance is also taught to ensure the bikes are in safe condition to go on patrol.”
Snr Sgt Hulls said that police members on bikes can be deployed for community events like the show, horse racing, football and other sporting events, including the ski races, where their versatility and compactness will be an advantage and enable them to get to certain locations faster.
“They can be deployed to other locations in the region − to Ouyen for example for any events that are on there and other regions as required,” he said.
The bikes will have some additional equipment on board which is stored in the ‘saddle bags’ and the VicPol members will travel with their full-kit of equipment worn on their person, including a baton, taser gun, service firearm, police radio and body cam video recorder and of course a helmet.
So look out for the cops on bikes around town and say “G’day” to them.
They’ll be easy to spot!