| A policeman rides a bicycle at Bank Road in Patna. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
Criminals may not be lucky taking bylanes after a pickpocket or snatching gold chains in the city anymore as “cops on bicycles” are being readied as a special patrol force.
Virtually taking a cue from New York Police Department or Washington State Patrol, senior superintendent of police (SSP) Manu Maharaaj said the force would be suitably trained before being pressed into service.
Though the senior police officer did not mention about any specific date to launch, sources said around 40 bicycles will be bought initially and distributed among the cops of different police stations.
“The state capital, just like other cities, has got many narrow lanes in which a police Gypsy or a Jeep cannot enter. Under such circumstances, the criminals have it easy as they can assemble in such places and commit crimes or plan it out. Earlier, there was a provision of foot patrolling but that has not succeeded. The police believe that the bicycles can solve this problem. Moreover, through this, there will be police presence in such areas too,” the senior officer said.
Maharaaj added that though there were around 100 bikes, termed “Quick Mobile Service”, the bicycles were more feasible when it came to patrolling in such areas.
“The policemen on motorbikes do patrol but they mostly move without stopping at any place. The ‘Quick Mobile’ teams have been asked to patrol continuously in their respective areas. With the bicycles, it will be different as they can move along a particular place with ease, see and notice things around and also talk to the people and know about their issues and problems. The cops on bicycles can help in creating a better police-public relationship as interactions will increase. People complain about lack of police presence in many of the localities and we plan to reduce this through the plan,” he added.
The sources said the intricate details about the plan’s implementation were being discussed at the moment.
“There are two possibilities which are being given a thought. First, the bicycles can be distributed among the selected police stations in the first phase and they would be given directions to work just like the Quick Mobile teams. Secondly, a special team on cops on bicycles can be formed. They will be provided with simple bicycles and not the latest high-end ones. Their job will be just to move in the narrow lanes and bylanes. For example, there are several narrow lanes along the Ashok Rajpath, which have many houses. We hope that the plan is implemented within a couple of months. The main objective of the police is presence in all areas, roads and localities of Patna. These teams can definitely stop petty crimes like snatching, eve-teasing, small loots among others. They will be given communication sets and the police control room will always stay in touch with them,” another police officer said.