The success of the bicycle units, based in Anglesea Street and Blackrock garda stations, has prompted permission to be given to roll them out in two other stations in the city next month.
Superintendent Michael Finn said that additional units will be created at the Bridewell and Barrack Street garda stations. He also revealed that garda management in the region is looking at the possibility of establishing units in Macroom and Bandon as well, although no specific timeframe is yet known on when this may happen.
“We have had very good feedback from the public. They are a very suitable form of policing for the city centre and suburbs,” Superintendent Finn said.
Members of the bicycle unit are normally first on the scene of emergencies and public order incidents and the unit is operational throughout the day until 4am.
The speed of their response, especially during the day, is usually well ahead of patrol cars which can get stuck in heavy traffic.
The unit has also been extremely effective in catching shoplifters because the mountain bikes they use are fast and can pursue fleeing suspects through alleyways, which patrol cars cannot negotiate.
The bicycle unit was started in Cork City two years ago on a pilot basis.
Senior gardaí are so pleased with its success that, in the next five to ten years, it’s expected that all towns in Cork will have a unit.