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Vauxhall offers fully fitted prison cell to Police services

8th April 2010 Print
Vauxhall Vivaro prison cell

Vauxhall has become the first automotive manufacturer to offer a fully fitted prison cell to the 54 UK Police services. Backed by a rigorous safety programme, the prison cell is unique in having been designed, built and tested specifically for the Vauxhall Vivaro, a firm favourite among the UK’s Police forces.

Used for transporting many thousands of detainees in custody each year, constabularies have until now been dependent on the aftermarket for the fitment of these mobile prison cells. With an ever rising Duty of Care requirement on vehicle operators, including Police fleets, that situation has become less than satisfactory. A key concern with these other products is how they perform in crashes as the huge forces involved can snap free fixing points and put the van driver, passengers and detainees in danger.

In contrast, the new Vauxhall Vivaro prison cell has undergone years of development and completed a series of simulated crash tests on the HyGe sled at Millbrook. During the tests the prison cell was accelerated from zero to 30 mph in just over a tenth of a second, subjecting the prison cell and its vehicle mounting points to massive shock forces that can tear apparently solid fixings like paper. The Vivaro cell passed these rigorous tests and was retained in position without significant deformation.

Vauxhall’s manager of vehicle conversions Dick Ellam said: “We have considered the potential risk to all the occupants of the vehicle in the event of a crash. Firstly we have ensured the installation is robust and there is no intrusion into the area immediately in front of the cell that could pose a potential risk of injury to occupant of the second row seating. Secondly we have considered the potential risk to unrestrained occupants of the cell and have chosen a seating arrangement that minimises this risk.

“The result is an extremely robust package which is unique to the market and a major step forward for the safety of Police van occupants,” he concluded.

The prison cell will be available installed in a Vivaro fitted with two rows of seating configured for up to six occupants. The Vivaro is already available fitted with a comprehensive range of emergency services equipment including lightbars, grille lights high level rear lights, switch panel, siren, various liveries etc. These options can be combined with the prison cell enabling Vauxhall to deliver a fully operational vehicle with all the benefits.

The Vivaro prison cell is the latest addition to Vauxhall’s turnkey vehicle preparation centre, Special Vehicle Operations based at Millbrook. Here, not only can the prison cell be fitted, but all emergency service fleet requirements catered for under one roof, ready for supply as a complete Blue Light vehicle.

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Vauxhall Vivaro prison cell