A Firefox bicycle with tubeless tyres and a shiny black-and-orange body: This is the new Delhi Police vehicle meant for patrolling the capital. To ensure they are more vigilant and on the move, the bicycles are being handed out to beat constables in the city. The idea to give the bicycles to beat constables, who operate in close proximity with residents, was the brainchild of police commissioner Amulya Patnaik, sources told The Sunday Express. Delhi Police hopes the move will add more “structure” to the manner in which constables patrol the streets.
Special Commissioner of Police (provisioning and logistics) S Nithianandam confirmed that the bicycles had arrived in the capital. About 70 bicycles — each priced at Rs 13,500 — will be provided to beat constables in the first phase. Sources said a tender was floated to purchase the bicycles. The bicycles, which were initially kept at the provisioning and logistics unit in north Delhi, are equipped with a basket that has a Delhi Police logo on it. On the back is a round board that says: “Aapko behtar sevaayein pradaan karne mein hamaari madad karein (Help us serve you better).”
Sources said that, initially, 65 bicycles are being given to the Delhi Police’s eastern range, which comprises three of Delhi’s 13 districts — east, northeast and Shahdara — that have a large population and several localities with narrow lanes. The other districts will get the bicycles in the time to come, sources said. A senior police officer told The Sunday Express that the bicycles will help police access areas, such as parks and narrow alleys, where patrolling vans cannot go.
Beat constables have a host of responsibilities, including keeping a tab on the locality they are assigned, and also on alleged criminals known to reside in the area. They also conduct door-to-door visits to senior citizens who live alone. Each constable is assigned the duty by the Station House Officer. Beat constables are also the first responders to any emergency or mishap. Their mobile numbers are distributed among Resident Welfare Associations as well as to senior citizens.
The concept of patrolling on bicycles was introduced a few years ago but was limited to a few prominent parks. Now, the bicycles will be used to patrol entire localities, conduct door-to-door checks, and check petty thefts and crime, an officer said.