Moves to improve the mobility of Metropolitan police officers on the beat and to reduce response times to reported crimes are proving highly effective, the chief constable announced today.
A think-tank last year advocated a raft of new measures to make officers more mobile and to reduce fatigue on arrival at crime scenes by the introduction of the new officer personal transport module for all officers and community support officers, with standard modules for undercover and plain-clothes officers. These modules have been on trial for a month and have proven highly effective in reducing overall crime numbers.
The OPTM is said to consist of a large white rubber ball with two long handles, a flashing blue light at the front and standard reflective stripes and police markings around the sides. The module is operated by the officer sitting astride the ball and jumping up and down, propelling the ball forward at high speed. This causes less strain on the officer and reduces the risk of injury in the event of a collision.
"We love them," said Sergeant Peter Scott. "We began deploying them during the riots in the summer and quickly regained control of the streets. The added bonus of these things is that you can stop suspects by bouncing on top of them, pinning them to the floor without causing injury. You can drive them up stairs, out of windows. The CID, of course, use unmarked ones."
PC Celia Martin also approved of the new modules. "They're great. The public thought it was hilarious to see twenty burly coppers all bouncing down Streatham High Road on space hoppers in the middle of the disturbances. The rioters couldn't throw bricks for laughing."
If successful, the modules will be rolled out for other forces within the next two years.