Out on Patrol (2002)

Out on Patrol (2002): In this album we are out on patrol with North Yorkshire’s Road Policing Group. This is the patrol car, a Volvo S70, we will be using.

Parked on a flyover, we can carry out speed checks on the traffic below.

Stephen watches the sparse traffic pass by. Traffic officers are easily recognisable in the UK by their white caps.

Inside the car is a vast array of equipment. The right hand camera records video footage all of the time. The left hand camera automatically reads registration plates and checks them against the PNC (Police National Computer) records. The system alerts the police officers to any vehicle which is reported as stolen or flagged for any other reason. Radio equipment and speed detection devices can also be seen.

The in-car video recoding system in use. We stop a farmer who is driving the wrong way along a dual carriageway slip road. He was taking a ‘short cut’ with a trailer full of hay. It is suggested that he may be prosecuted for dangerous driving – meaning a large fine and a driving ban.

Stephen walks up the sliproad to get photographic evidence of the route the farmer took. It is clear that the road is designed for one-way traffic by signs and lack of central road markings. During our time here, many HGVs thundered around the corner, gathering speed to merge onto the dual carriageway. If the farmer had met one of them head-on, he and his passenger would be very lucky to survive the crash.

We block the road for a practice stinger deployment. The bed of nails is thrown or dragged across the road to puncture the tyres of a target vehicle. Notice how one stinger can cover an entire dual carriageway.

The view across the road with Stephen in the background. He stands clear in case the stinger is whiped up by the fleeing vehicle.

The trellis of hollow spikes can clearly be seen. The device rocks as the vehicle moves over it, ensuring a large number of spikes enter the tyres. It deflates the tyres quickly, bringing the vehicle to a halt in a controlled fashion within a few seconds.

A unit that can back up our Volvo is this Toyota Landcruiser Amazon. It has a 4.7 litre engine that produces 232 bhp and returns about 14 mpg.

The side view of the same vehicle.

The ‘Nightscan’ floodlight is a special feature of this vehicle. This telescopic pair of floodlights can be raised and pivoted from within the vehicle. They can illuminate a crash scene or a checkpoint.

Another vehicle that can back us up is this VERY fast unmarked Subaru Impreza. It is the STi version and is fitted with blue lights, a camera and a rear matrix sign alongside all the regular police equipment.

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