The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Arresting Vauxhall Astra Wins Police Challenge


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

LUTON, UNITED KINGDOM – Marc 26, 2013: A crime-busting Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer has won a challenge from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) to find a way of incorporating future technology into a Police car.

The British-built Astra Sports Tourer features everything officers could want from a mobile police station including three computers armed with forensics and face-recognition software. Several high-quality cameras record activity outside – scanning suspect’s faces on a high street, for example – and inside the vehicle.

High-speed broadband gives Astra-driving officers up to an extra two hours in the field. Video, such as CCTV footage, can be downloaded and streamed on-the-move and uploaded to a central crime database. State-of-the-art on-board tech allows officers to compress video files in transit.

This special Astra Sports Tourer is the Police car for the smart phone generation with witness of crime photography collected via 3G connectivity. The vehicle is also equipped with software that predicts future crime hotspots.

A sophisticated black box, equipment that’s usually only found in aircraft, collects data on the Astra including speed, location and miles per gallon amongst numerous others. Officers are also able to dock Toughbook laptops and rugged smart phones.

To push the crime-fighting technology on even further, Vauxhall formed a consortium with specialist firms including Daetech Systems, TetraTAB, Airmax Group, Innaxys,Trans-tag, Kelvin Connect, Civica, Videolatitude, Imagebase and Facewatch.

Police fleet market leader Vauxhall produced the base vehicle at its facility in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire and carried out the special conversion at its base at Millbrook Proving Ground, Bedfordshire.

This vehicle exceeds Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Bernard Hogan-Howe’s directives for the police car to be the mobile office, so officers are always out in the field rather than back at the station.

ACPO is so impressed that the Astra Sports Tourer was the star exhibit at a police and security conference in Farnborough. It’s the second year running that Police fleet market leaders have won ACPO’s challenge after romping to victory with a futuristic Ampera extended range electric vehicle last year

“This British built and converted Astra Sports Tourer will help make police officers more efficient. It becomes their office and allows them to spend more time on the road fighting crime,” said Dick Ellam, Vauxhall’s Special Vehicles Manager.

And if you think that you’re seeing more Vauxhall Police cars on the roads these days, you would be right: Vauxhall is the number one supplier to Police fleets with a 70 per cent market share of competitive segments.