Page last updated at 10:30 GMT, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 11:30 UK

Policeman refuses to pose on bike

Cycle patrol
Officers pass their cycling proficiency test before they mount a bike

A Lancashire police officer refused to pose on a bike at a charity photo shoot because he had not passed his cycling proficiency test.

The officer, Pc Tony Cobban, told photographers that he would not be able to climb on the mountain bike in Preston.

Charity, Prime Focus, had raised money to buy bikes from Halfords for police community support officers (PCSOs).

A force spokeswoman said Pc Cobban was following "force guidelines".

'Appropriately trained'

Nigel Morrall, manager of Halfords, said: "The photo shoot had been arranged to publicise the fact the the charity had managed to raise the cash to provide more bikes for PCSOs.

"They wanted more on the streets because they do a good job. The charity contacted our store and we were happy to oblige.

"A PCSO was killed in Wigan a couple of years ago while out on his bike, I can see why they have the guidelines in place and make sure training is provided."

Primary schoolchildren also take the cycling proficiency test every year, which involves correct signalling procedures and how to be safe on the road.

Insp Nick Emmett said: "Our officers are required to be appropriately trained and assessed prior to using bikes for patrolling in order to comply with insurance and for the safety of themselves and the public."

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