Const. Steve McLean

Fighting crime on two wheels

Hope RCMP steps up bike patrols in the downtown area

Residents will see more police officers in bright yellow jackets cycling around town this summer.

Hope RCMP has ramped up its bike patrol program with nine trained members, including two auxiliary volunteers.

The week-long training course teaches agility, endurance, speed, firearm and tactical bike skills.

“It’s a police technique that allows you to see things that you normally wouldn’t while driving around,” said Staff Sgt. Suki Manj.

“It gives you more accessibility to the smaller areas in town like alleys. It also provides easier access for the community to come and speak with their officers, and let them know of any problems.”

The patrols, which run from June to September, focus on downtown Hope and known crime hotspots. Officers will also be cycling in pairs during planned community events such as the Canada Day Classic Car Show and B.C. Strongman Competition.

The RCMP is now handing out tickets to anyone riding without a helmet or disobeying bicycle safety rules. Manj said the detachment has also launched a program to reward youth “following the rules of the road” with a gift certificate to Panago.

“For fighting crime, it’s an invaluable tool,” he said.

“You’ll see that when we’re out there, you’ll get an increase in possession of narcotics, public drinking and catching people in the act.”