I was alarmed to read that BMW has been approved as a key supplier for all 52 police forces around the country by the National Policing Improvement Agency.
BMW’s “class-leading products”, it says here, will become standard issue to the UK’s policemen and women as part of the four-year deal. A total of £83m is being spent on models including the 330d saloon and Touring, the 530d saloon and Touring, all variants of the X1, the X3 xDrive20d, the X5 xDrive30d and xDrive40d, and the R1200 RF-P police bike.
My first reaction is obviously how did we get to this point where German cars are our frontline vehicles in the fight against crime? Where did all the British cars go? Well, there isn’t enough space for that, but the thought of bobbies in a Bristol or Morgan (not a BMW-powered one, of course) is certainly an intriguing one.
I do remember working in the City of London back in the ’70s and seeing BMW E12 (original 5-series) police cars which was all very exciting, but even then I thought in the busy narrow streets of London a Bond Bug would probably have done.
My theory is that a basic-spec Defender or a front-wheel drive Freelander with no extras really ought to be the Panda car of choice. Pursuit? Well surely that’s something an XKR can do. At least they are made in the UK' and if that's the criterion that lets in Hondas and Toyotas of course.