Fremantle Police bike patrol challenges stereotypes of crime fighting


Senior Constable Meszaros with first Class Constable Markham and PC Sanders believe in the efficacy of bike patrols.   Matt Jelonek  d465989
Senior Constable Meszaros with first Class Constable Markham and PC Sanders believe in the efficacy of bike patrols. Matt Jelonek d465989

WHEN people think about police responding to a crime, it usually conjures up images of a squad car with siren wailing and lights flashing.

The reality in a city-centre environment is a little different, with Fremantle Police’s bike patrol proving to be one of the most effective tools in dealing with crime within the CBD.

Fremantle Police senior sergeant Brad Warburton said the role of the bike patrol was to be a high-visibility crime deterrent, with members helping with issues such as shoplifting and nuisance or disorderly behaviour, primarily in the heart of Fremantle and other known hot-spots.

“There are no strict borders. Our main area is Fremantle CBD and the immediate outskirts and being on a bike assists us greatly in policing Fremantle to a greater degree, getting around more and quicker than on foot,” he said.

“There have been several incidents recently where the call has been received involving a violent offender and Fremantle officers on bike patrol have been able to navigate the laneways and roads to get to the job within minutes of the call.

“Officers on the bikes have also been deployed to problems areas such as beach carparks and outer suburbs, as we find the highly visible police presence is a fantastic deterrent to criminals.”

Working closely with the City of Fremantle’s Community Safety Rangers and staff within the CCTV room to allow them to identify offenders and problems, Snr Sgt Warburton said the public had been supportive of the bike patrol and its effectiveness.

“Bikes will always stand out and provide a much different and rapid response than the traditional beat patrol by foot,” he said.

“Deploying police on bikes to identified hot-spots allows us to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour and has seen a reduction of crime and annoying behaviour on our streets.

“Officers are specifically trained on the bikes to engage where traditional policing is difficult and this greater engagement provides us a clearer picture of where we are needed most.

“Tactical policing and the deployment of key resources such as the bike patrol is another tool that we use to meets the needs of the community and ultimately reduce crime and anti-social behaviour on the streets of Fremantle.”