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Fedster

Nylon tights spark unmarked police car probe

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Fedster

NPCC fully supports national review.

Nylon tights spark unmarked police car probe

 

Date - 23rd November 2018
By - JJ Hutber- Police Oracle

 

Chiefs are developing national guidance on modifying vehicles used for covert police work after an officer covered his emergency lights with hosiery and was seriously injured in a crash.

The North Wales Police officer had used nylon tights to help disguise the emergency lights of the BMW he was using.

But he was seriously injured when his car collided with an HGV in a layby on the A55 in Llanfairfechan in January 2016.

He was trying to avoid a van which had moved into his lane on a dual carriageway.

The North Wales Police collision investigation found  “there was a significant reduction in the light output with the nylon covers according to both the collision investigator and through tests carried out by a technical expert.

“It was also recorded that the nylon covers could not be ruled out as a contributory factor to the collision as they made it extremely difficult for the driver of the light goods vehicle to identify the vehicle behind them as a police car responding to an incident.”

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation raised concerns there is no national standardisation for covering lights and many forces are resorting to alternative measures such as tights.

Investigators were alarmed that “modifications are being made without any form of scientific testing to examine the effect of any coverings on the level of brightness when the emergency lights are turned on.”

The National Police Chiefs’ Council is to develop national standards of practice.

IOPC Director for Wales Catrin Evans said: “When police forces attempt to make unmarked police cars less visible, they need to adopt a standardised approach.

 “Any modifications made ought to be tested and approved by experts rather than using ad hoc solutions that may not be the safest method.

“For the safety of police drivers and the public alike, testing would also help make sure that any coverings do not significantly limit the visibility of the emergency blue lights when turned on.

“I’m pleased to see the NPCC has recognised the need to develop this national guidance and has commissioned a working group to produce the new policy.”

The IOPC found no case to answer for the officers involved covering the grille lights with nylon tights due to the lack of any national policy or guidance. No members of the public were harmed in the collision.

A spokesman for the NPCC said they accept the recommendations.

Police Oracle has contacted North Wales Police for comment.

View On Police Oracle

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bigboyblue

And the sad thing is whelen / woodway actually now make 'smoked lens' versions of their lights, still tested and have the right output, so this would be the fleet manager penny pinching...….

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Mac7

If the covert lights were fitted properly they wouldn’t need to be disguised or smoke. No doubt a penny pinching department has done a budget fit.

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donatello
10 hours ago, Mac7 said:

If the covert lights were fitted properly they wouldn’t need to be disguised or smoke. No doubt a penny pinching department has done a budget fit.

My understanding is that it was the officer who fitted the tights not the fleet services/manager

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Mac7
My understanding is that it was the officer who fitted the tights not the fleet services/manager


I think you’ve misunderstood. Obviously the covert light fit wasn’t covert in the first place, hence the need to disguise. I doubt this was due to poor workmanship and more due to budgetary pressure I.e not being able to afford a full covert fit.

Officers also need to understand that there is a stark difference between (let’s say) an unmarked traffic car with blues and a covert vehicle with blues. On a covert vehicle you should not be able to see the blue lights. If you can then that vehicle should not be run and returned to whoever has done the fit.
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SD
7 hours ago, Mac7 said:

 


I think you’ve misunderstood. Obviously the covert light fit wasn’t covert in the first place, hence the need to disguise. I doubt this was due to poor workmanship and more due to budgetary pressure I.e not being able to afford a full covert fit.

Officers also need to understand that there is a stark difference between (let’s say) an unmarked traffic car with blues and a covert vehicle with blues. On a covert vehicle you should not be able to see the blue lights. If you can then that vehicle should not be run and returned to whoever has done the fit.

 

Surely on a overt vehicle lights should never be fitted.

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