POLICE community support officers who cover Halesowen have eight new bicycles – all paid for by part of more than £21k taken from local criminals during 2009.

The bikes – which will enable PCSOs in Halesowen, Kingswinford, Lye and Stourbridge to be more responsive to the needs of their communities – were bought by West Midlands Police.

The force paid for the bikes with money from court prosecutions and asset seizures.

More than £21,000 was fed back into the communities of Halesowen, Kingswinford, Lye and Stourbridge in 2009.

Other local initiatives funded by cash received through the Proceeds of Crime Act include Christmas hampers for the elderly and vulnerable, support packs for victims of burglary, a community awareness project at Himley Hall, entertainment for residents of two Stourbridge homes for the elderly and new sports equipment for a Halesowen church youth club.

Activities to engage young people have also included a youth disco and BMX competition in Kingswinford, football training in Halesowen, skateboarding and climbing.

DC Nigel Williams is the financial investigator who monitors and drives POCA seizures in the area.

He said: “We rely on the public to keep us informed about what’s going on in the area so it is only right they should get something back.

"A lot of this money has been seized as a result of drugs prosecutions and we want people to know that crime really doesn’t pay.”

PCSOs Nick Woods and Robert Wragg took delivery of bikes which will be used to patrol Quarry Bank and Cradley.

PCSO Woods said: “These new bikes are ideally suited to patrolling the parks and open green land in our area.

"They will help us target mini moto riders and will enable us to respond to calls much more quickly and help us cover more ground.”