The average road bike does a bit of everything. But there are machines in the biking world designed to do one job only. Pure specialists if you will. These are the bikes...
PS 1058 Robin Marshall, Peterborough-based Cambridgeshire Constabulary bike cop.
"It's great being able to mix your job with the pleasure of riding a motorcycle. I don't know any bike cop who doesn't love riding! To do it you have to pass the various advanced driving courses and I think most traffic cops will agree the hardest course of all to pass is the bike one. It was very satisfying to finish the course as I felt a real sense of achievement.
"In a similar way to the bikes, our kit's also purchased through our stores. They take into consideration officers' feedback and requirements but the major issues are health and safety and cost. A lot of us use our own gloves as it's down to personal preference. Sometimes the gloves we're issued may not suit us, or our sizes or may feel a little bit clumsy, like new kit does sometimes. Visibility is a major thing for us, hence the dayglo jacket over the leathers. We go for two-piece leathers so we can take the jacket off and be comfortable when we're not on the bike."
"Generally we're very happy with these bikes. We keep them for a few years from new, normally selling them on when it's MoT time. Average mileages vary from bike-to-bike, but you see respectable mileages on them in that time, although we try to sell them on before too many miles reduce the value of the machine. A number of major manufacturers produce police-spec bikes. When they've launched a suitable model they'll contact each individual force and ask someone to try it out. The decision on what machine to buy is made up from the feedback from the officers who've ridden the bike, how closely it fits the needs of the force and - of course - how much it costs."RADIO: "Communication is vital between base and each other, so we have to have one on the bike. Our flip-top lid is equipped with a boom mic so we can talk and ride."BLUE LIGHTS: "We have switches which independently control front and rear lights. We've also got some rear red lights but we only put those on if we're stationary. We only use the blue lights when we really need to."SIREN: "The two-tone horn is again only used in an emergency situation. It's never left on all the time, we use it when we need to - like when we're approaching a junction or if people are in our way and they've not seen the blue lights coming up behind them."MOBILE PHONE: "Used in case the radio doesn't work."PANNIERS: "The rear seat hump carries the necessary equipment for the radio as well as the log-book, while panniers are handy for carrying all our paperwork."BOOT BELT: "You can't ride comfortably with a baton around your waist, or wearing a utility belt, so this is how we carry the gear we need to hand. The boot belt carries our baton, cuffs and spray."BATON: "This extendable baton fits neatly into our boot belt, so it's there if you need it."CS GAS CANISTER: "If things turn nasty we use this as a last resort. Guaranteed to incapacitate an angry offender."HANDCUFFS: "If you've had to use the first two, you may need these!"
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