A new environmentally friendly fleet of hybrid motorbikes will become tools to help Northamptonshire Police improve its accessibility and visibility to members of the public.
The new three-wheeled bikes will be used by neighbourhood policing teams having been developed by Northamptonshire based White Motorcycle Concepts (WMC) in collaboration with the Force and a number of British engineering innovation companies.
Following the completion earlier this year of an initial pilot scheme to test the innovative technology in a policing context, Northamptonshire Police is now bringing eight of the hybrid motorcycles into its operational fleet.
Stephen Mold, Northamptonshire’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, said: “Not only does this give us a chance to revolutionise our fleet but we also hope it will allow our officers to be more visible and approachable when they are out on the beat.
“Any learnings from how these bikes improve the fleet can potentially be applied to our Fire Service fleet too, so I will be watching with great interest to see how they make Northamptonshire Police better able to engage with its communities in what is a green and sustainable way moving forwards.
“And most importantly, I want to see how they help us to make Northamptonshire safer by helping us to catch and deter more criminals.”
Lem Freezer, Head of Transport and Logistics for the both the police and fire services in Northamptonshire, believes the new technology is an exciting way forward for emergency services fleet management.
He said: “Like all emergency services, we need to meet national objectives to reduce carbon emissions and move away from petrol and diesel powered transport by 2030. The technology behind the design of the bikes reduces emissions by up to 50 per cent compared with a similar non-hybrid model.
“This, together with detachable batteries that can be charged using a standard three-pin plug, provides a versatile and cost-efficient transport solution, which can be deployed as part of the current fleet without the need for expensive charging infrastructure.”
The batteries are compact and easily removed, and spares can be carried on the bike or conveniently stored back at the station – meaning the bikes do not need downtime for charging and can continue to be used for patrol. The design also provides a three-pin plug and USB ports, creating a mobile workstation for a busy neighbourhood officer and allowing them to spend even more time on their beat.
The bikes will give police officers and PCSOs greater visibility as they patrol their neighbourhoods, helping them more easily engage with people, gather intelligence and work to prevent and detect crime.
The three-wheel design also means the bikes can be driven on a standard car licence, enabling more officers to use them following just basic training and offering greater flexibility in deployment.
Chief Constable Nick Adderley, who is also the national police motorcycle lead, is committed to helping the Force get ahead of the curve with alternatively powered vehicles and lead the way for other policing and emergency services. He is also determined that solutions help deliver more efficient, visible and accessible local policing services.
He said: “The bikes are innovative both in technology and design and their distinctive appearance certainly makes them noticeable. The features they offer will help our officers maximise their visibility, accessibility and time spent in their local communities, while ensuring the force is on track to meet environmental targets.
“It’s not just the hybrid technology that makes the bikes unique, it is also a world first in terms of design. Effectively, the bike is hollowed out in the middle, allowing air to pass through the machine and not around it. The ‘venturi’ – the tunnel through the middle – makes the bike incredibly efficient due to superior aerodynamics.
“The transport infrastructure is changing for everyone, and we need to ensure we are prepared for the future with a sustainable fleet that not only meets the green agenda but also enables us to deliver the policing service our communities need and want.”