New police e-bikes will reach 15mph in a significant boost to traditional pedal power.
Four neighbourhood policing teams across Northern Ireland have taken delivery of 12 new battery-powered cycles as part of a trial to help deliver enhanced patrolling in areas that are not easily accessed by vehicles.
The liveried machines, which feature a maximum power output of 250 watts and warning light systems, will be evaluated by officers in East Belfast, Newtownabbey, Bangor and Londonderry.
PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said: “We are keen to see how this equipment can help deliver more accessible and responsive policing within communities, reduce our corporate carbon footprint and improve the health and wellbeing of our officers.”
Some members of neighbourhood policing teams in East Belfast have already used e-bikes on a trial basis and initial feedback has been “hugely positive”.
Mr Todd added: “They have found using the e-bikes has created more opportunities to engage with the public, detect crime and address anti-social behaviour.
“In addition, the officers have been able to cover a much greater distance; nearly doubling the area patrolled using the e-bikes, responding faster, when compared to standard police bicycles.
“If the pilot project is successful, we will certainly look at other areas which we believe could benefit from the roll-out of this new technology.”
The new Merida Espresso 400 & 700 bikes being used are similar in appearance to police specification mountain bikes.