The Lotus Exige, a lightweight, high performance car will be used by Bankstown Local Area Command for a number of community policing roles over the next six months, including most importantly, helping to build better relations between police and local performance car enthusiasts and youth.
"There is no doubt that the Lotus will be highly visible and generate public interest, it will assist us operationally by promoting our road safety crime prevention messages to a targeted group of offenders.""Giving youth the chance to realise that police are real people and have a job to do is an important part of our work, and if the Lotus can help us achieve that then it will be an asset during its time with us," Superintendent Dave Darcy
Good on the police for trying to bridge the relationship gap between the young car lovers and the police. Lotus is quick to point out that the Exige has far better fuel economy than conventional V8 and turbocharged six cylinder Highway Patrol cars and will bring a new green image to the vehicle fleet.
But just how much less fuel does the Exige use? On average around five litres less fuel per 100km while still being able to accelerate from 0 to 100km/h up to 30 percent faster than the big V8s! So much for that Big V8 power when it can easily be out dragged by Lotus' supercharged 1.8 litre four cylinder engine.
The important thing here is, power to weight ratio! Superintendent Dave Darcy accepted the keys to the Lotus Exige from Lotus Cars Australia's national sales and marketing manager Jon Stretton and thanked the company for its contribution to policing in the Bankstown area.
"The Lotus Exige will help break down barriers between our officers and youth in the area, it gives them a discussion point and a way of breaking the ice. We have a large proportion of car enthusiasts in the area and it is a challenge to influence them to drive safely. Whilst its easy to give this group tickets to slow them down we would prefer to influence young drivers to take care on the roads. I see that the use of the new Lotus Exige police vehicle will break down barriers allowing us to get our safety messages through." said Superintendent Darcy.
Bankstown Local Area Command will use the Lotus for the next six months under long term loan from the manufacturer.
According to Jon Stretton from Lotus Cars Australia the precedent for this co-operation with the police was set in the UK where the company forged a similar relationship with the Norfolk Constabulary lending the force a Lotus Elise to achieve similar goals.
"Following the success of the co-operation with Norfolk Police we saw the chance to link up with NSW Police to help it achieve similar goals. The Norfolk Police had similar challenges to Bankstown Local Area Command with performance car enthusiasts and in establishing stronger relations to help prevent unacceptable behaviour," he said."The Lotus gave the Norfolk Police credibility with the performance car enthusiasts and I expect the Lotus Exige will do the same for Bankstown officers. We are also very conscious of environmental issues and keen to demonstrate ways of using less fuel with more economical performance cars."Just because the police have always used conventional cars with large engines doesn't mean they can't look at alternatives that can reduce fuel consumption and be kinder on the environment," Jon Stretton added.
This is no toy car, the The police Lotus Exige features full NSW Police livery and is equipped with a removable emergency light system that can be used when it is at particular operations such as random breath test and radar sites throughout the Bankstown Local Area Command.
Getting a speeding ticket become just a little more fun!