HELPING keep motorcyclists safe on Warwickshire’s roads has seen a police officer honoured.
Warwickshire Police officer Rich Jenkins has received a Chief’s Special Award (Recognising Partnership Working) from Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service (WFRS) for his work on ‘Biker Down’ in Warwickshire since it launched in 2015.
The award recognises the dedication and commitment PC Jenkins has made to delivering the national motorbike safety initiative in partnership with other agencies in Warwickshire – including WFRS, West Midlands Ambulance Service and the Road Safety Partnership
Since 2015, over 780 bikers have attended the Biker Down course.
As a police officer and a biker himself, PC Jenkins is committed to reducing death and serious injuries among bikers and improving the safety of all powered two wheelers on Warwickshire’s roads.
Last year 13 motorbike riders lost their lives in fatal collisions in Warwickshire, and a further 73 bikers suffered serious or life changing injuries. Most of these but not all involved more powerful motorbikes over 500cc.
PC Jenkins said “I’m delighted to receive this award. Biker Down gives people the skills and knowledge so they know what to do in the first few moments after an incident involving a motorcycle. This can make a real difference to the lives of those involved. It could mean a life is saved.”
Biker Down is a free three hour course open to anyone and answers critical questions for those first on the scene of a collision such as how to assess who is most at risk following a collision and whether you should remove the helmet of a downed rider.
The course also covers basic first aid and the science of being seen – how you can ride better to protect yourself, what you wear and how you position the bike to improve your safety on the road.
After the course, the Biker Down trainers also direct bikers to other courses such as Warwickshire Police’s BikeSafe workshop that offers riders the opportunity to experience a professional police observed ride with police graded riders to help them become a safer more skilled rider.
WFRS Prevention Group Manager Tim Sargent said “In 2019 Biker Down welcomed two new partners, the Warwickshire Police BikeSafe team and the Coventry & Warwickshire ROSPA Biking Group, who both offer additional expert riding tuition after Biker Down and work with our Fire Prevention staff Saeed Sheikh and Darren Randle Morris to ensure Biker Down continues to grow.”
Biker Down is usually offered once a month throughout the year but due to the coronavirus crisis the Biker Down and Bikesafe courses are currently suspended.
PC Jenkins received the award alongside Paul Rowlands of West Midlands Ambulance Service and Anna Higgins and Victoria Bristow from the Safer Roads Partnership who were instrumental in Biker Down being established in Warwickshire.