Police deny plans for cycling manual
By James Costley-White | Thursday, November 12, 2009 10.20am
British police must study a 93-page document before they are allowed to ride a bike J D Mack, Flickr.com
UK police chiefs have denied they are about to issue a 93-page guide telling officers how to ride a bike.
A report in The Sun claimed the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) had drawn up a two-part Police Cycle Training Doctrine showing bobbies on bikes how to balance, brake, corner and avoid obstacles.
The newspaper said the two pamphlets had cost thousands of pounds to produce and would be mandatory training for all cycle cops in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
But when BikeRadar contacted ACPO we were told that was not the case. A spokesperson told us: “This work was neither requested nor drawn up by ACPO and we do not endorse it. It was put forward by a group of well-meaning police officers with an interest in this area. ACPO will not be taking it forward.”
The document seen by The Sun advises officers that they shouldn't try to tackle suspects while "engaged with the cycle", recommends wearing padded shorts and warns that cyclists can get hungry and thirsty.
It tells undercover officers who choose not to wear helmets: "This lack of protection must be noted and a full risk assessment of the required role to be undertaken."
Mark Wallace, campaign director at the Taxpayers’ Alliance, told The Sun: "This is an absurd waste of police time and thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money. Police officers are perfectly capable of riding a bike.”
But when we contacted CTC, the UK’s national cyclists’ organisation, they had a different perspective. Senior cycle trainer Greg Woodford said: “Although I’ve not seen the full 93-page report, I would say that cycle training is very important for all cyclists, whether they are police officers or members of the public.
"The national standard for cycle training covers all the basics of cycling skills and road sense. I’d recommend all police cyclists pass their Level 3 and encourage ACPO to work alongside what has already been developed.
"After that, police cyclists can then be equipped with the specialist training they need to do their job in today’s traffic conditions. I’d be more than happy to meet with ACPO and work with them on their cycle training.”
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