New European vehicles hit the beat

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Police vehicles have come a long way since the first Ford Model TT motorised light truck was issued in 1919.

Over the years the NZ Police have used a diverse range of makes and models including Humber, Chrysler, Ford and Holden vehicles.

The Czech-made Skoda stationwagons have been selected to replace the Holden sedans, with the Ashburton District receiving their first car on Thursday.

The rest of the Ashburton fleet will be swapped out as the kilometres get up to around 150ks.

Skoda were chosen for their performance, safety and low-emission standards.

Sixteen vehicles make up the Mid Canterbury fleet including front line responding cars, plain cars, youth education and highway patrol, all with different equipment depending on the role.

‘‘The new Skoda’s are stationwagons, they have a lot more boot space, are bigger with more space internally,’’ Ashburton Police senior sergeant Leigh Jenkins said.

One of his favorite features was the red and blue lights on the inside of the boot door and visible when the boot is open.

Before the new cars hit the beat they are taken to Timaru and speed calibrated to make sure the radar calibration was correct.

By Daniel Tobin