City of London Police have begun trialling an electric bike as part of their anti-crime armoury in the Square Mile.
The Wisper 906xc Tourer has a carbon matrix frame, Shimano eight-speed hub gear and disc brakes, and weighs in at around 24kg (53lb).
The trial came about after the force's Sergeant Antony Wolfson approached Wisper at last month's London Bike Show. "Our Cycle Squad uses a variety of specially modified bikes to police the Square Mile but we wanted to look at what advantages using an e-bike could bring to City policing," said Sgt Wolfson.
"Our experience has been extremely positive. The Wisper covers ground more quickly, which allows instant access to areas usually inaccessible by car, such as narrow alleyways and footpaths. The extra power of the e-bike allows an officer to move quickly and definitely fits with our objectives; helping us to cut crime in the Square Mile."
David Miall, of Wisper, said: “Several UK police forces use Wispers in community policing, as response vehicles and at high-profile events, such as the golf Open in St Andrews. Our bikes are used by forces as diverse as Dundee, Surrey, North Wales and now trialling at City of London Police."
Electric bikes have found many uses as public service vehicles around the world. In 2000, Chicago police placed what's thought to be the single biggest order for police electric bikes – 130. E-bikes have also been used by Belgian, Dutch, French and German postal services, and as medical first responders in the Netherlands.