Police trialling cutting-edge cars to boost officer efficiency

© GM Company

© GM Company

A special fleet of Vauxhall Astra police cars packed with cutting-edge technology is being trialled by Hertfordshire Constabulary to help officers spend more time mobile rather than at stations.

The ten vehicles taking part in the trial feature some of the latest crime-fighting technology. This includes a Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 tablet that can be used on the move or docked into the Astra’s glove box. It allows officers to work on-the-go using the device’s touchscreen monitor.

Also included in the special vehicles is a touchscreen centre console, featuring an 8.4-inch high resolution multi-touch touchscreen monitor, and a 4G compatible broadband router which enables high-speed internet connectivity.

The technology is designed to boost the efficiency of officers while they are out-and-about and essentially make the vehicles capable of operating as a ‘mobile police station’. It is predicted that the high-speed broadband router will allow officers to spend up to an extra two hours in the field.

© GM Company

© GM Company

If the trial is deemed successful, Hertfordshire Constabulary have plans to retro-fit 50 Vauxhall Astras that are already in service with the force with the new technology. Vauxhall currently supplies around 80 per cent of vehicles used in police fleets across the UK.

Dick Ellam, Vauxhall’s special vehicles manager, said: “We are delighted that Hertfordshire Constabulary is taking ten Vauxhall Astras on trial and have placed an order to retro-fit 50 vehicles with this cutting edge technology.

“Efficiency is a top priority for both the Government and Hertfordshire Constabulary and the investment made in these Vauxhalls will mean officers spend more time in the field fighting crime.”

Earlier this year, a Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer won an Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) challenge to integrate future technology in a police car.

The car was fitted with the likes of forensic and face-recognition software, high-quality cameras and high-speed broadband to allow officers to spend more time out in the field.

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