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Cops 'can't fit in' fancy new patrol cars
Photo: DPA

Cops 'can't fit in' fancy new patrol cars

Published: 16 Apr 2012 12:57 GMT+02:00
Updated: 16 Apr 2012 12:57 GMT+02:00

A German police force that spent €25 million on new sporty cars found that not only was the visibility rubbish for chases - the fancy seats were so narrow the cops could not get in while wearing their guns, truncheons and other equipment.

The embarrassing mishap came to light in a poll conducted by police union GdP, which showed that many officers in the western German state of Hesse preferred their old wheels – the Opel Zafira.

The Hesse Interior Ministry ordered 800 of the swish new models – Opel's Insignia Sports Tourer – in a long-term deal at the end of 2010. The ministry says that 200 of the cars have been delivered so far, but it is yet to be decided whether the order will be completed.

GdP deputy chairman Lothar Hölzgen accused the ministry of not testing the seats before the order was made.

The limited view through the back window was also a major problem for the police, said Hölzgen. "I need to see out of the back every minute, every second," he said. "That's a safety matter for us."

The ministry insisted that the car had been tested prior to the order. "The results did not point to any lack of suitability for police service," a ministry spokeswoman told regional broadcaster HR. She added that the ministry was aware of the problem.

The Local/DPA/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:21 April 16, 2012 by Sayer
Another reason pen-pushers and bean-counters shouldn't make decisions.
14:43 April 16, 2012 by Bigfoot76
^^ Agreed. It seems rather obvious that the testing should also be done by some of those officers who actually will use the cars. I can see maybe if there were not enough cup holders or the lighter did not heat fast enough but if you have to start taking items off of the bat belt in order to sit in the seat, that seems to be pretty significant.
15:01 April 16, 2012 by DOZ
Cops shouldn't carry weapons, so this is a good thing.
15:42 April 16, 2012 by szukalski
@DOZ

Criminals shouldn't carry weapons, so it is a good thing that cops do.
16:17 April 16, 2012 by melbournite
" the fancy seats were so narrow the cops could not get in while wearing their guns, truncheons and other equipment. "

such as a dozen Berliners
16:23 April 16, 2012 by nemo999
Ro-Ro, hopefully management might get it corrected in time for the next €25 Million vehicle order, but I rather suspect that they will not cancel their current order, that would make too much sense, and after all it is really not managements money, it is the the tax payer money, who it appear are not being represented by their elected officials.

But Opel really needed the order.
16:47 April 16, 2012 by wenddiver
Two words: After-market seats.

Just tell the Officers that can't fit they can patrol in the old Police model trabants.

@DOZ- What kind of person is afraid of the Policemen's guns? Mostly hubcap poppers and violent criminal types. I'm neither, so give the Polezi the tools they need to do their job.
20:18 April 16, 2012 by 9900lawre
British Military Police in Germany carry the same equipment around the waste and also drive Opel Tourers among many other vehicles. Granted they dont get involved in high speed chases but it's in the towns that the increased visibility to the periferal is needed most so as not to knock over drunken pedestrians when patrolling at night. Every vehicle has it's advantages and disadvantages, and there will always be complaint by those who were comfy with the old.

Whether for the environment or the cost, the vehicles will always change and with it the equipment carried and with that the way it is carried.

None of these police officers should be using the new vehicles without some sort of familiarisation exercise and training in a controlled environment first so therefore minimising the disadvantages against the advantages of new reliable equipment.
00:52 April 17, 2012 by DonH
I'm sure there is a joke about donuts here....somewhere...
16:25 April 17, 2012 by zephyrhills
Donuts-designers-engineers-yesmen-mommy. If you can blame someone don't forgett the captain who wanted to catch the bad guys.
11:58 April 18, 2012 by iseedaftpeople
Yes, those narrow sports seats aren't for everyone. They are basically designed with the average (German) 175lb- 5'9 occupant in mind... who of course also doesn't carry a gun or handcuffs on his belt.

But I would imagine that the extra support that those seats give you against sideway forces during a chase should make up for the minor inconvenience.

I have sports seats in my car, and I like to take it for a spin across the hills here now and then... they give you terrific side support on those curvy serpentine roads, much more than the "regular" seats in my old car.
07:07 April 19, 2012 by S.E.Schroeder
In what manner were the vehicles tested to determine suitability for law enforcement service? There would have to be a standard of qualification and compatability to equipment and function. In most cases.
06:14 April 21, 2012 by Fanboyz
Honestly I think German officers deserve much better and good quality vehicles for doing a risky job. Therefore instead the Hesse Interior Ministry ordered 800 of the swish new models Opel's Insignia Sports Tourer. The ministry should of ordered Mercedes vehicles to use as police car, and I think that would of be awesome see German police officers are using best quality vehicles Mercedes Benz you know.
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