From horse power to pedal power ...

Pictured with their new tranport are (from left) PC Scott Anderson, PC Ally Smith, Chief Inspector Gordon Milne, Inspector Suzanne Smith and Outdoor Store owner Andrew Renwick.'Photos on Location

Pictured with their new tranport are (from left) PC Scott Anderson, PC Ally Smith, Chief Inspector Gordon Milne, Inspector Suzanne Smith and Outdoor Store owner Andrew Renwick.'Photos on Location

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COMMUNITY police officers in Montrose are turning back the clock to raise their profiles on the town’s streets and get closer to the public.

As part of Police Scotland’s emphasis on community policing, Angus area commander Chief Inspector Gordon Milne and some of his officers this week collected 11 new bicycles from the Outdoor Store in Forfar for patrols in their local communities.

Chief Inspector Milne had said previously that this emphasis would hark back to traditional policing methods, returning to the “bobby on the beat” idea with dedicated officers who will be out and about outwith vehicles making direct contact with the public.

The aim is for communities to get to know their local officers and be able to contact them more efficiently.

The bikes will also allow officers to cover their beats more quickly and the force hopes that communities will also benefit as officers will be able to travel further afield than those out on foot patrol.

An added bonus for the officers themselves is that it presents them with a prime opportunity to stay fit while they go about their duties.

Mr Milne said: “It fits in well with Police Scotland’s ethos of community policing. People want to see officers out and about and officers don’t want to always be rushing from call to call.

“This is a great opportunity to get in amongst the community.”

As well as being used mainly by the county’s community officers, the bikes will also be useful in dealing with crime, such as antisocial behaviour, in places which would be difficult to reach by car.

It is expected that more than 30 officers will be trained and ready to take to the road within the next few weeks.