UK police force rolls out crime-fighting tuk-tuks that reach 40mph, costing £40,000

A UK police force has spent almost £40,000 on four crime-fighting tuk-tuks.

Gwent Police is rolling out the vehicles, which they said would patrol parks, walkways and other public spaces, in two Welsh towns.

Tuk-tuks are more commonly known for providing taxi services in some Asian countries, such as Thailand and India.

But the towns of Newport and Abergavenny in Wales will be the first to see the rickshaws used for police purposes in the UK.

WalesOnline reports the fleet will be driven by officers and ambassadors day and night to provide “safe spaces” for residents wanting crime prevention advice, reporting incidents, or for general reassurance.

The force revealed the tuk-tuks had cost £39,744, with each vehicle costing £9,936.

They have been paid for through funding from the Home Office.

Officers claimed the response in the community to the tuk-tuks or rickshaws had been “overwhelmingly positive”, but the news has been met with some derision online.

One person commented: “If they are brave enough to drive one of these around certain parts of Newport, it’ll be burnt out and thrown in the Usk within the first week.”

Another said: “Surely this is a late April Fools joke – why use a smokey old slow tuk-tuk, when there are infinitely better and clean electric vehicles they could use for patrolling parks, etc.?”

Chief Inspector Damian Sowrey said: “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.

“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.”

The total vehicle budget for Gwent Police in 2022 was £3,149,000, not including a £1,672,000 rollover from 2021.

Gwent Police said tuk-tuks can generally reach speeds of up to 40mph and require a full driving licence.

The Mirror reported in November 2013 how two Brits broke the world record for the longest journey in a tuk-tuk.

Richard Sears and Nick Gough, both teachers, travelled more than 23,300 miles to raise cash for education projects in developing countries.

The pair even had to push the motorised rickshaw the last 43 miles of their record journey.

They will reportedly become the first people to drive a tuk-tuk around the world if they manage to get through Chile in the vehicle.

The daring duo has driven the rickshaw across 37 countries since they set off from Britain on August 13 last year.

They were forced to drag the vehicle, which they are reported to have named ‘Tommy’, for the last few miles due to mechanical problems.