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Thread: Northumbria Police Put Vauxhall Astra On Trial

  
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    Post Northumbria Police Put Vauxhall Astra On Trial






    A comprehensive comparative trial is underway at Northumbria Police of the Vauxhall Astra as a beat car following delivery of 56 supplied to full police specification. The Astra is one of two models currently listed within the Police National Framework for the beat car role.

    A key part of the trial is the replacement of the entire fleet of beat cars in two of the Force’s six area commands. This should result in more accurate feedback from officers using the cars as it will remove any element of preference for the Astra or the competitor model against which it is being evaluated.

    Force Fleet Manager Keith Wilson says that the exercise will not only test the reaction of officers to Astra, but look at aspects of reliability in the demanding beat car role, servicing and repair in the Force workshops, and the performance of key items of equipment fitted to the vehicles, some of which is new to the Force.

    The Astras are a mixture of hatchback and estate models. Forty eight are hatchbacks with 1.3 CDTi engines, whilst eight are 1.7 CDTi estates – the latter chosen for the additional space they provide needed to carry Taser equipment. They are the first Vauxhall products to join Northumbria’s 1,100 vehicle fleet in significant numbers for many years.

    A dramatic reduction in delivery lead times has also resulted from choosing the Astra. Previously the Force would expect the time from placing an order to delivery to be around six months, but this has been cut to just six weeks by the conversion of the Astras to full police specification by GM UK Special Vehicles at their Millbrook base in Bedfordshire.

    The Astras were delivered to Northumbria Police in a complete finished condition that includes Battenberg stripes, a siren, LED flashing lightbar, an incident data recorder, wiring and aerial for the radio equipment, tax and first registration. All that remained for the Force to do was fit the radio, put its corresponding call sign onto the vehicle roof, and to apply the Force crest.

    Keith Wilson, Fleet Manager for Northumbria Police, said that it couldn’t have been more straightforward. “We were delighted to see that the standard specification for the Astra mirrored our own; a perfect match that allowed Millbrook to supply exactly what we require but as a factory produced, one-stop product”.

    “A major benefit of a turnkey arrangement like this is that with these Astras everything is properly designed and fitted into the vehicle. There are no bolted on bits, nothing to obstruct the dash, and all the controls and switches are sensibly placed for ease of access or sight. Nothing sticks out, gets in the way or looks out of place.

    “We’ll be running them for four years during which time they’ll each clock up an average of 100,000 miles. So we’ve chosen to take an extended warranty from Vauxhall to cover the cars for their full four year lifetime. As Vauxhall treats everything they fit to the vehicle as original equipment we get cover for all those additional items fitted at Millbrook to our specification.”

    Among items being evaluated is GM’s own roof-mounted flashing light bar. Up to now Northumbria Police have used standard ‘cone’ type emergency lights on their vehicles. Another item under test is a different type of aerial that is less obtrusive and therefore should prove less prone to accidental or malicious damage.

    Unique amongst UK police forces, Northumbria Police also fits special protective windscreens and door glass to its vehicles. A new type will be fitted to the Astras and if this proves successful then future fitment of this glass may be carried at Millbrook.

    Opened just over a year ago, the GM UK Special Vehicles centre converts standard production models to meet a wide range of emergency vehicle needs, particularly for police work. So far over 1,000 vehicles have been converted at the centre ranging from Astra beat cars to Vectra high speed pursuit cars.
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    "Forty eight are hatchbacks with 1.3 CDTi engines, whilst eight are 1.7 CDTi estates"

    I'd have thought they'd go for something a little more pokey. Chasing chavs around the streets in a 1.3 might not be terribly easy especially of said chavs find a 'propah punto' or some crap.

    But anyway, go VX!

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    with a quick remap those 1.3's can be pushing more BHP than my 1.6
    Its a jam thing

    Haec credam a deo pio, a deo justo, a deo scito?



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    they have had those astras in my area for months, and trust me, for 1.3 they fly!!
    MK5 1.7 CDTI OWNER AND AN ESTABLISHED MEMBER OF THE DARK SIDE!

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    I can see my house in that picture!! lol.

    Have to say I was hoping to see a VXR fully stickered up myself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elmogimp View Post
    they have had those astras in my area for months, and trust me, for 1.3 they fly!!

    Astra 1.3's... Thats nothin'... we had a lone but marked VX220 turbo kickin around for a while, with octavia turbo's as their unmarked wagons


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    small engine block means they are nippy as chuff, and i v much doubt they will be standard they will be tweeked more than likely
    - Black 2.0 SRi DTi Mk4 Astra -

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    These are only the beat cars so just for going from one house to another to investigate things like break in's that there is no need for them to get there fast
    SMIC, miltek catback, precat, Thorney remap 242.7 bhp 281lb/ft torque

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    since moving to colchester, i've seen the fast pursuit cars (evo's and scooby's) just rolling around, but mind u what do u expect when there a Mazeratti dealership just around the corner from me lol
    Men have two emotions: Hungry and Horny. If you see him without an erection, make him a sandwich

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    PSNI just got a number of 1.7CDTi and 1.6 Mk5 Estates, and some particularly grotty 1.6 Focus Estates - a big come down from the Vectra B 2.2 and 2.2DTi and Omega Estates they're replacing.
    2007 Metro Blue 5 door Mk5 Elite 1.7CDTI
    6th Vauxhall (4th Astra) in 10 years...plus a couple of other sheds...

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