Lincolnshire Police has added ten new Ford Kuga SUVs to its fleet in a bid to tackle crime in the toughest winter conditions.
The white liveried vehicles feature all-wheel drive, helping officers take on treacherous terrains in the countryside, such as fields and farmers' tracks, as well as icy or flooded roads.
The vehicles, which can produce up to 150bhp, will be used by police officers across the county to respond to all types of crime, including in the force’s fight against hare coursing and other rural crimes. Since April, Lincolnshire Police has seized 35 dogs and 11 vehicles relating to hare coursing offences, with 21 arrests and another four reported for summons.
Chief constable Bill Skelly believes the new Kugas will give the force greater flexibility in tackling crime and improve its service to the borough.
He commented: “With these vehicles, our officers will be able to go where they previously couldn’t in a police car, such as into a crop field to find where a stolen vehicle has been hidden or to pursue a hare courser trying to make an escape using an off-road track.”
Chief Constable Skelly explained that attempting to drive on tricky surfaces in a conventional police car would cause it severe damage, forcing officers to accept lifts from farmers or traipse through fields on foot to reach a crime scene.
He went on to say: “Our distinctive county also has vast areas of challenging terrain with low hills and steep valleys and in bad weather these can be treacherous.
“When our officers are trying to keep others safe it’s important to me that they feel safe to tackle the conditions. Now our officers can get where they need to quickly and safely – improving the service to our communities.”
The new SUVs will be used with drones and quadbikes to give Lincolnshire’s front line officers the capability to tackle crime wherever it occurs, and allow officers to reach the county’s most remote regions.
A Ford Kuga was extensively trialled by the force in the Lincolnshire Wolds ahead of the fleet order, which cost the force £195,000, including the cost of converting them to operational police vehicles.
Stephen Hasley, brand manager at The Fuelcard People, adds: “Lincolnshire Police has made a sound choice picking the Kuga as their weapon of choice when tackling tough terrain. It is reliable, fuel-efficient and very capable.”