I would like to express congratulations to the police in Penang for returning to bicycle patrols in Georgetown and other parts of Penang. It is wonderful to see the police force working to improve their presence and accessability.
Some might think that using bicycles is a step backwards as cars and motorcycles, in theory, should allow police to cover more territory, chase down criminals, etc.
They are wrong.
The best police work is the police work that stops crimes before they happen. Police on bicycles, with their visible presence, will help in crime prevention. They are easier to talk to than police officers in a car or on a motorcycle. On bicycles, the police become closer to the community.
And when it comes to dealing with suspects, bicycles are actually very helpful. Bicycles are fast and quiet and have greater mobility than cars or motorcycles. They are light enough for the officers to carry. Bicycle police officers can even be trained to use their bicycles to entangle suspects.
However, one thing that must be considered is officer safety. Police officers on bicycles should be wearing bicycle helmets for protection in case of a fall. They should also be wearing uniforms that are more appropriate to active duty in hot weather.
I hope that the Penang police continues with their bicycle patrols and I look forward to seeing police officers on bicycle patrols in all communities throughout Malaysia.