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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 March 2006, 15:20 GMT 16:20 UK
Brakes put on police skate team
Police officers on roller skates
A small team was trained up in in-line skating
Officers have stopped using skates to patrol London's Royal Parks, reportedly after problems chasing people on grass.

The experiment, based on skating patrols in Paris, Holland and Florida, began in Kensington Gardens in 2000.

Officers were given 14 new bicycles in December to use instead, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said.

Instructor Dawn Irwin added that there are specific sets for going downhill, but nothing for grass. "It's just a friction thing," she said.

The Royal Parks, particularly Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, are known as popular hang-outs for skaters, especially in the summer.

In 2000, four officers were given skates and trained both to stay upright and to chase suspects safely as a way of improving community policing.

It was fun going round on patrol but you would have had to stick to the paths
Instructor Dawn Irwin

But this week the Met said: "They were used very occasionally by about two officers and within a few months they no longer used them.

"They were introduced as an experiment to see how it worked. It didn't work and they are no longer used."

Ms Irwin added: "It was good while it lasted. It was fun going round on patrol but you would have had to stick to the paths."

The Metropolitan Police and the Royal Parks Constabulary are expected to merge formally within weeks.

There are 17 Royal Parks in London patrolled by 131 officers and 42 community support officers.


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