999 London Cycling Award Winners

26 February 2004

The winners are:

  • Police Cycling Award - The Richmond Cycle Unit, Metropolitan Police
  • Cycling in the Ambulance Service Award - Sean Clarke, Paramedic, London Ambulance Service
  • Cycling in the Community - Woolwich Sector Team, Metropolitan Police
  • Cycling in the Community (Highly Commended) - Claire Tinkler, Paramedic, London Ambulance Service
  • Cycling in the Community (Highly Commended) - The Transport OCU Traffic Wardens
  • 999 Cycling in London Award - PC Mark Cockram, City of London Police
  • 999 Cycling Development Award - The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Managing Director of Surface Transport, TfL Peter Hendy said:

"The emergency services use of bikes has proved to be absolutely essential and this must prove to Londoners that cycling is a key ingredient to transportation across the Capital.

"I would like to congratulate all those who were nominated and those who won and I hope this will encourage more emergency service staff to become involved in cycling."

Deputy Mayor of London Jenny Jones said:

"This is sleek, effective, modern policing, combining speed and mobility
with the accessibility of a beat officer. They cover more ground than officers on foot, but are far more friendly and open than police in cars.

"They move faster through heavy traffic than a police car, and are the best way of keeping rogue cyclists in line. It was hard choosing winners from so many acts of bravery, determination and basic humanity."


Police Cycling Award - The Richmond Cycle Team, Metropolitan Police

The Richmond cycle unit use bicycles as part of a wider operation which has helped to deliver a significant reduction in motor vehicle crime within the London Borough of Richmond.

Cycling in the Ambulance Service Award - Sean Clarke, Paramedic, London Ambulance Service

Sean was called to a major incident along with other units. As he knew the streets well and as a cyclist he arrived at the scene first and made a rapid assessment of the accident. After a full examination had been done and the incident wasn't as serious as first thought Sean cancelled all unnecessary resources, freeing up services.

The cycle response unit is able to reach anywhere within its area of operation within minutes, regardless of traffic conditions.

Cycling in the Community - Woolwich Sector Team, Metropolitan Police

In November 2003 five mountain bikes were donated to the Woolwich sector team by a neighbourhood renewal project and immediately used. Initially the patrols were limited to Woolwich town centre to demonstrate them to the local community as they visited the shops and familiarity with them as part of the local policing resource was correctly judged to be a key factor.

The patrols were quickly established as a welcome and trusted part of the town's response to security and crime issues and positive comments were received.

Cycling in the Community (Highly Commended) - Claire Tinkler, Paramedic, London Ambulance Service (LAS)

Claire has been representing the LAS on the National Treatment Agency (NTA) working group on reducing drug-related deaths (DRD). She volunteered to represent the service as her role on the cycle response unit (CRU) was bringing her into contact with the regular drug users in the West End of London who have no formal contact with social or health services.

Claire's commitment to this research brought the LAS CRU a better understanding of; the time of day; type of location/area; on the ground local knowledge; specific police local intelligence; type of drug and of course improved survival rates of the West End's and possible national drug user communities.

Cycling in the Community (Highly Commended) - The Transport OCU Traffic Wardens

These traffic wardens use their bikes to travel thirteen miles a day, each way and enforce parking regulations along their route between Lewisham and Victoria to keep London moving. The use of bicycles has helped to make them more approachable to the public.

999 Cycling in London Award - PC Mark Cockram, City of London Police

Over the past two years, PC Cockram had the foresight to propose a dedicated cycle team to his Divisional Commander to respond to calls for police assistance and be deployed on targeted pro-active operations.

Mark overcame a number of hurdles including funding, health and safety and training to present a detailed business case and spearhead training for officers with the help of the International Police Mountain Bike Association. Reading University has now accredited PC Cockram's course under the NVQ scheme.

999 Cycling Development Award - The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

The MPS have increased the numbers of operational police mountain bikes from 34 to 380. Officers and civilian staff are being trained in the use of mountain bikes as a tool to be used against street crimes. Officers are able to patrol areas not normally accessible to foot patrols or vehicles. The MPS is also leading the way in the design of police cycle clothing.

Emergency Services PR Contacts

With the help of TfL, a selection of officers have qualified as professional International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA) cycle training instructors. www.ipmba.org

The MPS and TfL are developing and funding high-spec clothing, bicycles and supporting equipment, and a trailer for rapid deployment of 12 bikes. The Corporation of London has provided a similar kit to the City Police.

The London Ambulance Service (LAS) deals with over 3,500 calls a day with central London being the busiest area. Traffic Congestion, pedestrian areas and high 999 call-demands contribute to make fast ambulance responses in central London, challenging to meet, especially when not all calls require patient conveyance to hospitals.

The LAS Cycle Response Unit (CRU) was introduced to ease the pressure on ambulances by targeting calls that were not life threatening. In 2002 it became operational and today, two teams of four trained paramedics and technicians on bicycles cover a ten-hour day, seven-day a week shift pattern, in the heart of the Capital.

The LAS is working in partnership with TfL to develop and fund high-spec clothing, bicycles and supporting equipment, and the expansion of the LAS CRU into other high demand areas

  • average response time is 6 minutes - 100% are within the 8 minute Government target
  • 50% of cases do not require an ambulance
  • £80,000 saved in ambulance and staff costs; £2000 in fuel costs; 251 extra hours of ambulance availability over a 6 month period
  • patient & public appreciation for the LAS CRU in its 'community ambulance' role
  • the CRU has won three awards and attained world media coverage for their innovative approach.

For further information please contact the TfL press office on 020 7941 4141.

Transport Policing & Enforcement Directorate

A Strategic Perspective on the Future Role of Cycling in London's Emergency Services

The subject of how cycling can play a part in delivering better policing
services is therefore of very real interest to me.

Before we go into the nominations, I would like to look briefly at where
cycling fits within the wider transformation agenda of public services in

It is fascinating to see the development of the transport, policing and
emergency services agendas over the past few years

Thirty years ago we moved police officers away from their "beats" and into
panda cars and other response vehicles. This was all done in the name of
efficiency, faster response and chasing after the high profile cases

The transport industry went through a similar, albeit slower, revolution
where low-tech approaches to transport - walking, cycling, buses - were
shunted aside in favour of the fast, personal mobility offered by the car.

Cities were redeveloped, neighbourhoods razed, roads widened - and, slowly,
communities disintegrated as we hit the fast lane - travelling further,
faster (although taking much the same time as before). This affected not
only the geography of our cities, but how they functioned, where we live and
work, and, crucially how communities function. Emergency services joined
the race for speed in a bid to keep response times down and chase crime in
ever faster circles.

With no pun intended, the wheel may be turning full circle...

In London, at least, we have seen for the first time a decline in car use in
Central and inner London. Bus ridership is at the highest levels since
Dixon was at Dock Green and growing at more than 10% a year. Walking and
cycling are starting to increase. Inner London neighbourhoods are becoming denser and even 20mph speed limits are back on the agenda.

Policing is also returning to the community. Over the past few years we
have seen not just increases in police numbers, but a renewed focus on
working at the local level. Police officers are increasingly working with
schools, local authorities, housing associations, voluntary agencies and
(even) transport agencies to not just chase crime but to work with the wider
community to prevent crime.

The use of PCSOs has made it possible to bring back a highly visible,
uniformed presence to some of London's streets. The MPS will be extending
this principle by establishing dedicated, ward-based policing teams in each
of the Boroughs. Their role, primarily, will be to work with local
communities to understand their issues, gather intelligence and develop
appropriate, local strategies.

London Underground and the British Transport Police are, essentially,
deploying a similar "reassurance policing" model of assigned dedicated
police officers to groups of Underground stations - to work with our staff
and passengers to create safer travelling and working environment.

So what does all this have to do with cycling in the emergency services?

I would suggest to you that we are at a decisive point in the delivery of
transport and emergency services in the capital:

  • Public expectations are high - and the public is not without criticism of what we all do
  • Traditional models and assumptions are being challenged - and for good reason
  • There has been significant recent investment in some of our businesses - police numbers increasing, revitalisation of bus services; investment in new control room and deployment technology
  • New ideas and innovation are coming to the fore - we all recognise we need to try different ways of addressing deep-rooted problems ; for example congestion charging, introduction of PCSOs - ideas which would never have got off the ground even five to ten years ago

What the nominations for tonight's awards demonstrate is that innovation,
resourcefulness and the willingness to challenge established ways of
working exist in depth in the organisations represented here tonight.

Moreover, they highlight that our staff - the people on the front line -
usually have the best ideas. In most cases, one or two individuals have
taken an idea and developed the use of bikes into an integral element in
mainstream service delivery.

Crucially they demonstrate that cycling has a real role to play in improving
the performance of our organisations.

And there are some brilliant examples of how this might develop into the

Visible police bike patrols able to engage local people but also respond to
calls (in one incident, pursuing a suspect all the way into a shop - I trust
the officer managed to do so without riding on the pavement).

The Ambulance service Cycle Response Unit getting around faster in the West
End than ambulances and ensuring effective triage at the scene.

The cycling drugs outreach unit which has the unique ability to combine
outreach work with emergency support to vulnerable people in the West End.

All the nominations demonstrate the pioneering development work being done;
not only in identifying appropriate kit - bringing a whole new meaning to
"Smith and Wessons for the Met" - but also on adapting traditional policing
styles to meet the demands of Londoners in the 21st century.

Tonight is an occasion for us to celebrate what has been achieved. All
those nominated for awards should rightly feel proud of their achievements.

However, as you return to work in the morning - possibly with a slight
headache - I would ask you to consider this. We are still at the cross
roads - doing a track-stand as we wait for the lights to change - as to how
cycling will develop into the future.

One path will keep this as a Cinderella service; providing individual,
enthusiast staff with a way to keep their training going at work and
providing some good pictures for the annual report. More bikes will be
deposited in dark corners of stations and the air will slowly escape from
their tyres.

The other path drives cycling on to being an integral part of mainstream
service delivery to the community. The nominations demonstrate that cycling
can make a real impact to improving our performance.
Developing these initiatives further will take organisational and political
courage. I urge you all to make this leap - not in the interest of the
bikies, but in the interests of all Londoners who rely on our services day
and night.

Congratulations to all those nominated - and to the organisations who have
supported their vision and determination.

Jeroen Weimar

Transport for London
Director of Transport Policing and Enforcement