If you can’t handle the ride, don’t do the crime.
Police vehicles are subjected to all kinds of use and abuse normal vehicles generally never see. That’s why virtually every vehicle in law enforcement features upgrades of some kind, and Volkswagen is hoping to add something fresh to the mix for European agencies with a tricked-up Transporter. For those on the wrong side of the law, however, we suspect tricked up is not the term they’d use to describe this ride.
Specifically, VW calls this a prisoner transport van, and as the pictures below suggest, it’s not exactly a suave ride for criminals. The rear of the van is fitted with a full-width mobile prison cell that VW says ensures “safe transport for occupants.” In this instance, we suspect safe refers to the officers in the van because the cell appears to have no safety restraint or even padded seats for that matter. Not that crooks deserve a soft ride, but at least police cruisers in the U.S. have curved plastic back seats that sort-of fit a person. Not that we’ve ever been in the back of a police cruiser. You know – we’ve seen such things at special drive events. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
Honestly, the accommodations for officers outside the cell aren’t terrifically inviting, either. A pair of thin, rear-facing seats allow room for two people to monitor the cell, though these seats are at least fabric and have some padding to them. Presumably the seats up front for driver and passenger are a bit more user-friendly.
In addition to the interior changes. The VW Transporter also receives plenty of visual punch to let folks know this is a cop car. Should bystanders happen to somehow miss the markings, a “blue light” conversion with LED lights and a 100-watt siren should seal the deal. VW sends its Transporter vans to Safeguard SVP in Essex, which handles the full police conversion.
The VW Transporter cell van debuted last week at the NAPFM Emergency Fleet Exhibition in the U.K. and is now part of a demo fleet for European police agencies to evaluate.
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