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New bike cops breaking down barriers

Senior Constable Lokie Gaddes and Constable Josh Ross are the new bicycle cops in town. Photo Twh

“The focus of this operation, besides being visible so that the community feels safe, is about engaging with the kids and breaking down the barriers between the public and the police, giving the youth something to do besides roaming aimlessly,” Inspector Peter Walton said.

“We all know that when boredom strikes, people become restless, and to fill the time, kids will sometimes look to commit minor crimes, and we want to get in front of that by engaging with these kids early so that we can prevent them committing major crimes when they are older.”

In the last few weeks, Bourke residents may have noticed two young cops, Senior Constable Lokie Gaddes, and Constable Josh Ross, patrolling on bikes, kicking the footy with kids in the park or playing basketball in Bourke.

Lokie and Josh are part of the Central North Police District’s High Visibility Operation, designed to engage with the youth and prevent crime by breaking down the barriers between young people and the police.

“The data shows that if we don’t have diversionary programs which break down the barriers between police and the public,” Inspector Walton continued, “kids are more likely to offend, commit more severe crimes and ultimately end up in custody when they are older, which is not where we want for them.

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