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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 June, 2003, 05:39 GMT 06:39 UK
Police watch on bikes
Isles of Scilly
Police also have the use of a four-wheel drive vehicle
Bicycles have been issued to police on the Isles of Scilly - and locals have been warned to ignore local tradition and leave them alone.

Bicycles are often viewed as public property on the islands - as many an unsuspecting newcomer has learned when finding their bicycle removed.

Pc Steve Hardy, acting sergeant on Scilly, said the two bikes would make a huge difference to policing all of the islands - as long as they are not ridden away.

He said: "The tradition of borrowing bikes out here on the islands causes us a few problems.

"People tend to borrow them and leave them lying around, but we have tried to make as much effort as possible to make it clear that the police bikes are police vehicles, and they will be used in the execution of police duties.

"We certainly would not want anyone to pinch them."

Bicycles could be re-issued to Cornwall's policemen if the trials on the Isles of Scilly prove successful.

The six officers on the islands - including three part-timers - usually have to walk to incidents because there is only one four-wheel drive police vehicle.

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