There’s nothing better than heading home after an arduous day in the office… and hitting a traffic jam. Half way home, and sat there in the cocooning luxury of my Rover 75 Connoisseur, idling away precious fuel, looking at the rear axle of a twin-axled Ford Transit is not my idea of heaven – even if it means spending time listening to my favourite Podcasts. But as the minutes ticked by, the stress levels were beginning to rise, proportionate with my feeling that I’m unable to do anything about the situation.
So imagine my surprise when I see a silver Jaguar XF screaming its blues ‘n’ twos as it streaked down the other side of the road, doubtless on its way to some emergency or another. I smile crossed my face, as I whispered to myself, ‘well done Jaguar’. I know it’s sad, but I love seeing the emergency services using British-made products, and believe that in its own way, it’s important for our carmakers to have their products chosen over and above their imported counterparts – as long as they are good enough.
Where I live – in Middle England – our traffic police cars (certainly since I moved here in 1998) have always been BMWs and Volvos. That was a little bit of a culture shock after growing up in Rover and Vauxhall loving Lancashire. So after years of our roads being patrolled by X5s and 5-series saloons and Tourings, our local police purchasers seem to have changed their allegiances for Range Rovers and Jaguar XFs. The panda cars are also Ellesmere Port built Vauxhall Astras, which is also a good sign.
I’ve always been of the belief that although no one likes being followed by a police car, and certainly wouldn’t like to see the inside of one, we’re reassured when we see them out and about patrolling our roads. And I’ve always thought that it’s a great piece of rolling publicity for any manufacturer when people see their cars upholding the strong arm of the law. If only we’d had more of this in years gone by – but I suspect there’s more to the police car buying process than simply choosing what looks best in your local constabulary’s livery.