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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 March 2007, 15:28 GMT
Police charged with electric bike
Power bike
Pc Glenn Chambers will be patrolling by pedal cycle
Police in Devon and Cornwall fed up with plodding the streets may soon have a new weapon in the fight against crime - an electric bicycle.

With a top speed of 20mph, the electric bike is aimed at making it easier for officers to get around their beat.

Pc Glenn Chambers is testing the bike on his Plymouth patch in a six-month experiment and the force may buy more if it is successful.

The bike is aimed at saving officers' energy as well as cutting car use.

'Lot easier'

The Power Cruiser, which costs about the same as a conventional bike, was put through its paces by Pc Chambers on Wednesday.

The electric motor kicks in when it senses he is struggling on the pedals.

Alternatively, when the need arises, the officer can just override the pedals with a throttle to use the motor on its own.

The Power Cruiser can travel about 30 miles using its 36-volt, 250-watt motor.

After being plugged into the mains for a couple of hours to recharge it, it is ready to go all over again.

Pc Chambers, who normally uses a police bicycle, said: "The powered cycle will make it a lot easier to get around my patch and will be especially helpful up the steep hills."

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