• Germany's news in English
 
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

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)

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.
Today's headlines
'Dr Death' corpse museum gets go-ahead
Dr Gunther von Hagens. Photo: DPA

'Dr Death' corpse museum gets go-ahead

A Berlin court has said that infamous human taxidermist Gunther von Hagens can open a museum in the capital - over objections from local officials. READ  

Networks scramble to patch mobile security
Chancellor Angela Merkel has herself been the victim of phone hacking. Photo: DPA

Networks scramble to patch mobile security

IT experts led by Berlin-based Karsten Nohl said on Thursday they had discovered security flaws in the mobile phone networks that would allow attackers to read users' messages. READ  

Turkish 'spies' arrested at Frankfurt airport
Photo: DPA

Turkish 'spies' arrested at Frankfurt airport

Three men suspected of being Turkish agents have been arrested by police, federal prosecutors said on Thursday. READ  

Tax take jumps 7.3 percent in November
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble is having an excellent month. Photo: DPA

Tax take jumps 7.3 percent in November

Germany collected 7.3 percent more in tax in November 2014 than the same month last year thanks to the strengthening economy, the Finance Ministry said in its monthly report on Thursday, while pollsters found rising consumer confidence. READ  

Ramelow bunks off his first Bundesrat sitting
Bodo Ramelow looking low on energy at a sitting of the Thuringia state parliament. Photo: DPA

Ramelow bunks off his first Bundesrat sitting

Controversial new Thuringia minister-president Bodo Ramelow of the Left (Linke) party missed his first session of Germany's second house of parliament, the Bundesrat, to go on holiday with his family. READ  

'Wrong but legal' claims child porn case ex-MP
Edathy preparing to face questions in Berlin Photo: DPA

'Wrong but legal' claims child porn case ex-MP

A former rising star of German politics who resigned after pictures of naked children were allegedly found on his official laptop said Thursday what he did was "wrong, but legal." READ  

This week in history
A Brandt name to relaunch a country
Willy Brandt being sworn into office in 1972 Photo: DPA

A Brandt name to relaunch a country

We know him as Willy Brandt - but that was just a pseudonym the former chancellor took to avoid the Nazis. READ  

10,000 evacuated after WWII bomb find
A similar bomb defused in Potsdam in September 2013. Photo: DPA

10,000 evacuated after WWII bomb find

Local authorities evacuated some 10,000 people from central Potsdam after an unexploded Second World War bomb was found on a building site. READ  

Sunny outlook for business this winter
Photo: DPA

Sunny outlook for business this winter

German business confidence rose in December on the back of falling oil prices and a weak euro, the Ifo economic institute said Thursday, as the prospects for Europe's biggest economy grew sunnier. READ  

Merkel says Russia sanctions 'unavoidable'
Photo: DPA

Merkel says Russia sanctions 'unavoidable'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Thursday that sanctions against Russia remain "unavoidable" until Ukraine regains its sovereignty and independence. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Willy Brandt at his inauguration in 1972. Photo: DPA
National
Willy Brandt: the man, the chancellor... the airport?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Sponsored Article
Why are these International Baccalaureate students cheering?
Germany's national football team lifts the World Cup trophy
Gallery
Germany's most-Googled words of 2014
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Sponsored Article
Top ten gifts for an expat Christmas
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Stuff your face with these festive German cookies
Photo: DPA
Culture
What do beer, breakfast cereal and dildos have in common?
Culture
The Local's guide to German Christmas markets
Sponsored Article
Top five quirky Christmas jumpers
Photo: DPA
Culture
Get ready for Christmas like a German. We tell you how.
Photo: DPA
Munich
She did what with her dead mother?
Photo: DPA
National
Germany still paying for crisis fall out
Photo: DPA
Culture
Saxon wurst is the worst, Christmas market declares.
Photo: DPA
Politics
Can 'sorry' ever be enough for the Linke?
Sponsored Article
Shop Christmas gifts at Debenhams international store
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
Offer: Unlimited airmiles through December 19th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
See how Berlin has changed in 22 photos
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,197
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd