Leicestershire Police has given away recovered bikes to fellow frontline workers carrying out vital jobs during the coronavirus crisis.
As part of the Leicester Bike Aid scheme run by the city council, the force has donated 14 bikes seized from criminals but not claimed back by their owners.
Once refurbished the bikes will be offered to keyworkers, such as those in the NHS, teachers and supermarket staff, to help with their daily commute and limit the use of public transport.
As well as the bikes the force has also been able to provide a handful of reflective backpacks, jackets and bike locks.
PC Ben Broad, who works as a neighbourhood officer in the Spinney Hill area of city, arranged for the bikes to be donated having previously been involved in a similar initiative to provide bikes to children in care.
He was contacted by Sustrans, a sustainable transport charity, who are one of the partners involved in this latest scheme to see if he could help.
PC Ben Broad handing over the donated bikes
Ben said: “Having previously worked with the charity on something similar, I was delighted when they got in touch to see if the police could help with this fantastic scheme.
“Despite our best efforts these bikes were never reclaimed after being stolen so it’s great to see them going to good use.
“As a keyworker myself I wanted to help make it a little easier for some of my fellow frontline colleagues to get to work and carry out their vital roles. It’s a small token to show the appreciation we have for their efforts during this pandemic.”
Cllr Adam Clarke, deputy city mayor responsible for environment and transportation, said: “The response from our partners to Leicester Bike Aid has been fantastic, and we’re very grateful for Leicestershire Police’s generous donation of these bikes. It means we’ll be able to help more key workers with their commute so that they can carry out their vital work helping to fight coronavirus.
“We know that many police officers, PCSOs and staff are also out there keeping us safe during this crisis and we want to thank them for this. For those who patrol by bike, they’ll be able to take advantage of our new ‘key workers’ corridor’ of pop-up cycle tracks to help cyclists get around more easily.”
Keyworkers interested in the scheme can email [email protected] for a registration form.