MWA 721P This icon of the 1970s is a Rover P6 3500. Popular with police forces across the country, this example was with South Yorkshire Police. The ‘3500’ in its name refers to the 3500 cc V8 engine that powered this car. Notice the police roof box, with blue rotating beacon on the top and two rear-facing red lights attached to the sides.
A152 SUW This is a Metropolitan Police Rover SD1 3500. This car was a common site throughout the UK in the late 1970s and 1980s. It has two rotating beacons on the roof, as well an an illuminable ‘police’ sign mounted on the bonnet, between the headlights. Up the sides are red and yellow stripes and the Met’s logo. This livery was used up until the late 1990s.
The rear view of the same SD1. Notice that a large ‘spolier’ sign that has been fitted which illuminates ‘police’ and optionally ‘stop’. The Rover SD1 is often regarded as the best traffic policing car of its era. The Met actually stockpiled them when they heard Rover were to stop making them.
BAP 886K A MG B GT police car. Currently being privately preserved, this 1971 example is displaying an optional ‘wide load’ sign for escorting large vehicles. This type of car was used for traffic policing duties, but didn’t really have enough carrying capacity.
The rear view of the same car. Notice the illuminable stop sign on the rear bumper. When not on display, the police sign and blue light are removed to stay legal on the roads.
LX07 AFU is a BTP short wheel base Vauxhall Vivaro with a band of battenburg. It has two full-width light bars on the roof and seating and secure prisoner transportation inside. Notice that due to the nationwide remit of the force, this London-registered vehicle was stationed at Edinburgh station in Scotland.
VK56 VXA is a Saab 9-5 saloon demonstrator that is being tested by the BTP in Peterborough during the summer of 2007.
The rear view of the Saab. It has grey bodywork with the bright livery over the top. The blue light bar has been attached with clamping brackets to avoid drilling holes in the roof.
CK55 UDZ is a British Transport Police Renault Master van. It carries a single band of battenburg down each side and has blue lights on the roof and grille. The large windscreen shield indicates that the vehicle can be used in hostile situations, although most of the time it will be used for routine police work.
AJ05 DWF The BTP in London were operating this Ford Focus in 2005. It is a demonstrator from Ford for the force to evaluate. Notice how there is no mention of the name of the force using the vehicle (so it can be moved around easily) and the ‘Ford Demonstrator’ logo on the rearmost side windows. Another indicator is that the registration starts ‘AJ’, which is not a London prefix.
KE53 FKM is an Iveco van which tows a massive custody unit for the BTP. The idea is that the vehicle can move around the country where it can be used at a major event to provide temporary prisoner cells. The van is fitted with two small blue lights in its front grill.
The rear view of the trailer. The inset shows the inside view of the central corridor leading to the individual cells.
KE05 JLV is a long wheel base Iveco van that has been modified to carry specialist equipment for the BTP. The equipment is stored in fire engine-style lockers.
A detailed look at some of the equipment carried. This includes: breathing apparatus kits, tools, water, fire extinguishers and medical equipment.
AY05 HXO is a Citroen Relay-based van that has been specially converted into a six-wheel incident command unit. Like the mobile custody unit above, the only blue lights at the front are two small ones in the grill.
The rear of the vehicle. It is fitted with satellite communication facilities and its own CCTV camera that is mounted on the roof.
LX05 CZK This is a BTP Renault Laguna in the 2005 livery. Notice the small repeater blue lights on the front wings (which appear grey when not activated).
The side view, showing the markings on this estate car. From 2005 the orange stripe up the side has been superseded by a single row of chunky yellow and blue battenburg on BTP cars. The ‘police’ wording along the bottom of the doors remains.
The overhead view of the same Laguna.
LX04 FKA This is one of three BTP Renault Grand Espace 3.5 V6’s that are used in central London. It has two blue light bars and unusually for a BTP vehicle has battenburg markings and a yellow bonnet. This top-of-the-range vehicle has 245 bhp and can do the 0-62 mph dash in only 8.1 seconds.
The rear view of the same car. These MPVs (multi-purpose vehicles) are part of the BTP’s solution to the threat of terrorism on the capital’s transport infrastructure. The three cars are available 24 hours a day to carry people and equipment to emergencies. They contain custom racking to carry specialised anti-terrorist equipment such as chemical monitoring and portable x-ray equipment, as well as personal radiation alarms.