POLICE in Wirral will start using electric bikes in their fight against crime and antisocial behaviour from today (Wednesday, July 10).

Merseyside Police say the purchase of 10 new e-bikes will allow more officers across the borough to patrol hotspot crime areas, cover additional ground and provide an increased visible presence in our communities.

The bikes have been funded by Wirral Community Safety Partnership from a grant allocated by Merseyside Police & Crime Commissioner Emily Spurrell,

Further funding was provided for specialist training to officers using the bikes to help them in targeting serious and organised crime. This was funded through Operation Target, Merseyside’s force-wide operation to tackle serious and violent crime.

Sergeant Tim Cottrell of Wirral Neighbourhood Policing Team said: "We have seen a growing trend in the theft and use of e-bikes to commit crime and ASB, so our officers will be targeting those with intent to commit this type of criminality.

"The e-bikes will be used by officers across the two main Wirral policing hubs so we will have increased patrols in our hotspot areas, especially those that are not accessible by other vehicles, in our rural and open-park spaces.

"E-bikes also have the added benefit of providing a more accessible way for officers to meet and talk with members of the public and provide reassurance.

"We believe it’s important for our communities that we provide a visible policing presence so they can feel safe and secure in shared spaces.

"We're incredibly lucky in Wirral with all our amazing parks and coastline, so we’re going to be making the most of this new equipment to patrol those spaces effectively.

"Technology, and therefore criminal capability, is constantly evolving. It’s essential that the way we police evolves too and these bikes are going to help us do that.”

Cllr Helen Cameron, chair of Wirral Community Safety Partnership, added: "It is fantastic to see this funding make such a difference to neighbourhood policing teams in Wirral and well done to the officers in sourcing additional funding to specialist training to maximise the effectiveness of these e-bikes in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour."

Ms Spurrell said: "We are always looking for new ways to prevent and reduce crime, make Merseyside Police as efficient as possible and reach our communities in the most effective way.

"The public often tell me how much they value seeing officers on their streets and I have made proactive policing a priority, so these e-bikes are a great way we can help officers to cover a larger area in a more visible and accessible way, keeping our communities safer.

"As well as enabling officers to reach places that response vehicles might not be able to access, such as alleyways, these new bikes also have the advantage of being better for the environment, supporting our goal of making Merseyside the most sustainable police service in the UK."