Pint-sized police cars in the UK – such as the Fiat Panda – have for years been ridiculed because crooks could get away even on foot.
But UK cops could soon have the last laugh: police across Britain are testing a Ford Ranger Raptor for special duties.
While the fully decked out Ford Ranger Raptor is not likely to replace the fleet of BMW and Volvo sedans, wagons and SUVs that UK traffic police now widely use, the desert-racer pick-up is being assessed by various regions for suitability in specialist areas.
The UK has 48 police forces across the country and while not all of them will get a chance to test the Ford Ranger Raptor, it is booked out far and wide in the coming months.
A Ford spokesperson told Autocar UK: “We are not just playing dress-up”.
The Ford Ranger Raptor has been completely decked out with operational police equipment and will spend time in real-world policing situations.
The pick-up was prepared by Ford UK’s special vehicles division in Essex, but other than police markings, lights and radio equipment the vehicle is in showroom standard condition.
A statement from Ford UK says South Wales police are among the first to trial the Ranger Raptor pick-up, with other jurisdictions to follow.
Ford UK has also put on the road a police-pack version of the high performance Ford Focus ST wagon, which could be used for highway patrol duties.
In the coming months both vehicles will be on loan at no cost to each of the 48 police divisions.
Unlike Australian police fleets which are run by the states and territories, police vehicles in the UK are operated by the 48 police regions.
It is not the first time UK police have been tempted with high-performance loan vehicles.
Meanwhile Ford Australia says there are currently no plans to offer a Ford Ranger Raptor to local police fleets for assessment.
However, NSW Police do have a large fleet of base model Rangers for general duties work, while the NSW Highway Patrol currently has a US Ford F-150 Raptor as a promotional vehicle.