West Midlands police and crime commissioner David Jamieson has visited specialist vehicle converters MacNeillie in Walsall to see the coming together of more than 30 police forces and agencies in the purchase of more than 100 new state of the art public-order vans.
Long-bodied, high-roof Mercedes-Benz Sprinters will be taken apart and rebuilt by MacNeillie to create a the protected personnel carriers.
West Midlands Police is expected to buy around 60 vehicles under the framework agreement, which will provide economies of scale savings of over £800,000 for the wider purchasing group.
Richard Semmens, managing director of MacNeillie, which is part of Babcock International Group, said: “We’re proud that our business has now grown to encompass a strong international footprint – but our heritage is very much rooted in the West Midlands.
“We’re delighted to have been chosen to support this initiative alongside Mercedes-Benz, working in partnership with the commissioner and one of the country’s leading police forces.
"We look forward to producing a finished vehicle that will serve our police forces and the public well.”
Jamieson said: “Not only is this great value for money, because police forces and agencies from across the country have come together to drive down costs, but this contract is also good for the West Midlands economy as all of the vehicles will be converted in the region."
All the vans will be received by MacNeillie as standard road Sprinters but will then be completely stripped and rebuilt as part of the specialist conversion in order to create a vehicle which is secure, protected and durable.
- Each van will have the standard window glass taken out and replaced with protected glass that can withstand attacks
- Tyres will have a special internal mechanism fitted which will allow police drivers to continue their journey for up to 30km in the event of punctures
- MacNeillie will also install the locking systems and people cells as well as built in storage units to hold police items.
It is estimated that the first of the new vehicles for the West Midlands will be rolled out later this year.