Insight & Analysis

Police spend £40,000 on crime-fighting tuk-tuks

Published: Nov 2022

A Welsh police force has spent almost £40,000 on four tuk-tuks which it says will help them fight crime.

The three-wheelers, most commonly used as taxis in Asia, will be driven by officers and council “ambassadors”, according to Gwent Police.

The force unveiled the initiative in early October and said they would patrol parks and other public areas in Newport and Abergavenny both day and night. They claimed the tuk-tuks would provide “safe spaces” for people to report incidents, ask for help or get crime prevention advice.

The electric tuk-tuks cost £9,936 each – a grand total of £39,744 for the four vehicles and the money reportedly came from the Home Office’s Safer Streets programme.

Chief Inspector Damian Sowrey said public feedback had been good. “They were on show at our Behind the Badge day, giving local residents the opportunity to see them up close and to hear more about how they will be used,” he said.

“The feedback was overwhelmingly positive with parents telling officers that they would feel safer knowing that there was support for young people out at night, and from women who could think of an occasion when the tuk-tuk would have been a welcome sight.”

However, some people who had taken to social media to comment were not so complimentary – suggesting they would make the force a “laughing stock” and the tuk-tuks would probably end up stolen or vandalised.

It’s unlikely there will be any high-speed chases around the streets of Southeast Wales, as the tuk-tuk’s top speed is limited to under 35 miles per hour!

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