An Garda Síochána Mountain Bike Unit pedals onto the streets of Raheny and Tallaght in Dublin.

Thirty men and women attached to the new Garda Mountain Bike Unit went on patrol for the first time on the streets of Raheny and Tallaght in Dublin.

Mobile, versatile and highly visible, gardaí insist that the unit will be about policing rather than public relations.

The new unit will be deployed for all types of crime. Superintendent John Farrelly of the Garda Press and Public Relations Office sees the value of the unit lying in its agility and ability to be on the scene of the crime very quickly. The mountain bike unit will be particularly useful for patrolling in housing estates, flat complexes and parks.

The gardaí on bikes are well received by Raheny residents, with one woman full of praise,

I think they look great, really smart, really visible.

Another woman adds,

They look well, tell them to make sure to do their hand signals.

The Garda Mountain Bike Unit is pilot scheme running over the summer months of 2001. If successful, gardaí on mountain bikes will be a permanent fixture in the fight against crime.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 5 June 2001. The reporter is Paul Reynolds.