POLICE officers will be more mobile in Dorchester thanks to a donation from a local housing association.

The county town police force is set to increase the number of officers on bicycle patrol in the community after funding from Magna Housing helped it secure two new mountain bikes.

The funding was provided through the Dorchester based housing association’s community initiative fund and the bikes were supplied through local independent bike shop Poundbury Cyclesport.

Inspector Steve Marsh of Dorchester Police thanked Magna for its contribution for the bikes and praised its continued support of his team’s efforts in the town.

He said: “We have a good working relationship with Magna Housing Group. “They are a key partner in our work to keep the Dorchester area and its residents safe.

“We are grateful for their continued support, and also that of Poundbury Cyclesport.” Insp Marsh added: “The bikes will allow my neighbourhood officers to patrol the area effectively, whilst still being visible and approachable.”

John Coombe, a Magna resident who helps allocate money from the community initiative fund, said: “We wanted to support this application as it will help provide safer communities, by increasing police accessibility and visibility.

“It’s a natural progression to support this funding as it helps to strengthen the partnership between Magna and the Dorset Police following the donation of three community police vans in 2012 and two bikes to the Sherborne patch in September last year.”

Heidi Gould, one of the owners of Poundbury Cyclesport, said she was glad to support the local police by supplying the bikes and was pleased that they had chose a local firm.

She said: “We were really pleased to be able to supply these bikes. It’s great that the police have chosen to use a local business like us to work with.”