A limited pilot scheme of just six electric bikes for is being rolled out for policing in Dublin City Centre.
The backdrop to the launch of the trial use of e-bikes is weeks of criticism in national media of how the Gardaí police the central area of the capital after attacks on tourists and others.
The use of bicycles is seen internationally as a goodood fit policing central areas and Gardaí believe that e-bikes will boost that ability.
A Garda press release today said the initiative is to “evaluate the broader feasibility of the use of e-bikes in Irish policing.”
The Garda Press Offices outlined how the pilot scheme — which the force intends to extend to Cork later this year — is being operated in partnership with GreenAer, a distributor and bicycle shop.
Six electric bicycles from three different manufacturers are now in use by officers who have undergone training and qualified for pedal cycle patrols. The bicycles have been assigned to Store Street and Pearse Street Garda Stations.
Angela Willis, Assistant Commissioner for the Dublin Metropolitan Region, said: “We fully appreciate the reassurance that high visibility policing provides to the public. This pilot sees a number of different models of e-bikes being used by members of An Garda Síochána over the coming months.”
“These new electric bicycles will enhance our visibility particularly in the city centre as part of Operation Citizen. The new e-bike patrols will help us further increase the existing foot, pedal cycle and mobile patrols within the city centre – an area that has a weekly footfall of almost two million people.”
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Willis added: “This initiative demonstrates our ongoing commitment to keeping people safe in the capital.”
A Garda press release said that the use of the bikes will “allow Gardaí to cover larger areas for longer periods of time as the e-bikes owned by An Garda Síochána are up to 250w, can operate up to 25kmph and have a motor that operates when pedalling in a power assisted role. Bicycle patrols increase the ability of Gardaí to provide assistance while in congested areas, and encourage the public to approach and engage with their Gardaí on-duty to keep them and their community safe.”