The Maldives Police Service (MPS) will begin using bicycles to conduct patrols, unveiling the new fleet yesterday on the 77th anniversary of the service.
The new bicycles were given a test run on the streets of Male’ during the inaugural ceremony by President Mohamed Nasheed, First Lady Laila Ali, Vice President Mohamed Waheed and Commissioner of Police Mohamed Faseeh.
Police Sub Inspector Ahmed Shiyam said the police bicycles would commence patrolling with the other police vehicles 24 hours a day.
”It is a new method of police patrol, like foot patrol,” Shiyam said.
Press Secretary for the President Mohamed Zuhair said that the new police bicycles would ease congestion on the streets and make it easier for police to patrol.
However, Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP and former minister for environment, energy and water Abdulla Mausoom said the new initiative proved the Maldives was “going backwards day by day.”
“This will make it easy for people to attack police,” he said, noting that Male’ was a “risky environment” and there had been an attacks on police last year.
The Maldives ”does not have to go back to the stone age to be a carbon neutral country,” he said.
Zuhair said the DRP were stuck in the past “and do not understand the new political environment.”
As well as a gesture towards the country’s ambitions to become carbon neutral by 2020, the government hopes the sight of police riding bicycles on the streets will set a precedent and inspire others to follow.