Bike loving special takes to two wheels
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A Leicestershire Police special officer has become the force’s first volunteer police motorcyclist.
Special Inspector Jon Mansfield has always been passionate about biking. Since joining Leicestershire Police as a special seven years ago, he’s spent a lot of time and effort working to reduce the number of people killed and injured on our roads.
Jon said: “I’ve always been a keen motorcyclist, riding on both the road and track and helping motorcyclists train for their Advanced Rider Course with my local IAM RoadSmart.
“I feel very privileged to have been selected to be the first Leicestershire special to join the motorcycle officers. Since passing my test I’ve already spent many hours out on the bike, engaging with people and undertaking enforcement duties. I’ve seen just what an invaluable resource the bikes are to us.
“Leicestershire Police is one of the only forces in the country to offer motorcycle training to special officers, which without doubt increases our capabilities as a Special Constabulary and police force as a whole.”
Last year Jon helped to form a dedicated specialist unit of specials, the Safer Roads Team, who volunteer their time to improve road safety and law enforcement.
Special Inspector Stuart Mottershaw, lead for the Safer Roads Team said: “It just made perfect sense to have Jon on a bike. He’s an advanced motorcyclist in his own right with decades of riding under his belt, and is an examiner for the IAM, so I can’t think of anyone better to do it.
“Motorcyclists are the highest demographic of road casualties in Leicestershire and the team have done a lot of work with motorcyclists to try to protect them. Having Jon there to relate from a biking standpoint really does win hearts and minds and has really helped us to communicate with people.
“Jon’s new skill is a big advantage operationally too, as it’s easier to spot drivers on mobile phones or without seatbelts from a bike. His skills have extended the flexibility and reach of the Safer Roads Team and I am confident that Jon is a major tool in our bid to reduce the number of casualties on the roads of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.”
The Safer Roads Team is primarily lead by specials with the support of Co-ordinator PC Fiona White. She said: “Inspector Emma Spencer and Traffic Management Supervisor Graham Compton have really supported the Safer Roads Team to work hard to reduce road casualties though community engagement and targeted traffic operations. Jon has proved invaluable in raising the visibility of the SRT by engaging with the motorcycle community and being a vital part of our pre-planned traffic operations, such as cracking down on speeding on routes that we know motorcyclists regularly frequent.”
Jon added: “Leicestershire Police’s Special Constabulary is in the midst of many changes with a strong focus on the formation of specialist teams to utilise the diverse range of skills that volunteers bring to the force. The Safer Roads Team is an example of this and we’ve achieved great results since our formation. There are exciting changes happening and it’s never been a better time to volunteer and make a difference.”
Anyone interested in volunteering for Leicestershire Police is encouraged to visit the website: leics.police.uk/couldyou to find out more.