Americans have our own ideas about what a police cruiser should be: big, fast, menacing. The kind of vehicle that you can't mistake pulling up behind you on the freeway, and with enough muscle to chase you down should your foot get a little heavier than it should. But overseas, police vehicles are a little more...timid. In Europe, law enforcement typically use smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles. So why not a plug-in hybrid?

That's what Vauxhall is asking the British law enforcement community with the Ampera. The UK subsidiary of General Motors already provides an array of vehicles to police departments across the UK, but brought the hybrid – basically a Chevy Volt with different bodywork – to the Intelligent Transport Systems division of the Association of Chief Police Officers to show them how the PHEV could be prepared to serve as a police vehicle.

For the demonstration, Vauxhall equipped this Ampera with four external cameras, a facial recognition system, a police database interface built into the dashboard display and more. The police-spec model, says Vauxhall, could be ready to roll into police motorcades in the UK by 2015. Follow the jump for the full press release.
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Luton – Vauxhall has won a competition run by the Association of Chief Police Officers Intelligent Transport Systems (ACPO ITS) to demonstrate an electric vehicle that uses cutting-edge crime-fighting technology that could be introduced into active Police service by 2015.

Vauxhall showcased the ground-breaking Ampera in Police livery featuring the very latest policing equipment on the Home Office's Centre of Applied Science & Technology (CAST) stand at the Police & Security Conference on 31st January 2012, held in Farnborough.

The Vauxhall Ampera, which is on the shortlist for both World Car of the Year and European Car of the Year, is equipped with a range of high-tech kit to help Police officers fight crime, including:

- Four external-mounted cameras for evidence gathering
- Internal camera for facial recognition linked to the Police National Database
- The standard Ampera display screen modified to provide all information currently available to Police officers, for example Automatic Number Plate Recognition
- A second screen mounted on the passenger sun visor to allow the passenger to access all Police information
- New Police software that has been loaded with previous incidents and historic data that is run through complex algorithms to predict potential crime hotspots

The Under Secretary of State for Crime and Security, James Brokenshire, was given an in-depth demonstration of the crime-fighting technology on the Ampera by Jim Hammond, Chief Superintendent, ACPO ITS.

Dick Ellam, Vauxhall Special Vehicles Manager said: "We are delighted to have won the ACPO ITS competition and are excited to have displayed the fittingly ground-breaking Ampera featuring this array of cutting-edge equipment."

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