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West Midlands Police Service opts for Skoda Octavia Estate

Each vehicle has to go through a police vehicle conversion service, which ensures the interior is fitted with bespoke features to keep the dogs safe and comfortable. The vehicles are fully operational, liveried police dog handlers’ cars and can carry two or three dogs at a time

Gary Mallett, vehicle operations manager for the West Midlands Police Service, commented: ‘The Skoda Octavia is excellent quality and by far the best dog vehicle we’ve had. They are reliable and efficient and have shown impressive resilience under very demanding conditions.’

Designed to meet the Police Handlers’ express specification, the Octavia Estates are equipped to meet the demands of the emergency services. Engineering Vehicle Options (EVO), specialises in this type of vehicle conversion and has fitted the vehicles with features such as climate control in the rear cabin. A unique three-kennel configuration has also been introduced for the first time thanks to the impressive boot space and elongated wheel base available across the Octavia range.

Martin Clohisey, managing director for EVO, commented: ‘The Octavia Estate offers a flexible solution for the vehicle conversions. The cars are extremely reliable and offer a fit for purpose solution for the West Midlands Police.

‘Our standard features now include green air climate control, which operates independently utilising an auxiliary battery, so the engine doesn’t need to be running to keep the kennels cool. Furthermore, the system links a pager to the thermostat inside the car, which automatically pages the handler if the temperature rises too high – a huge step forward for animal welfare.’

Additional features installed by the outfit experts include a kennel drainage system, acoustic laminate glass, colour-coded roof fan, air conditioning, the option for two or three kennel configurations, supply and installation of all public warning equipment, kit storage solutions and safes for seized drugs and ammunition.

Andy Thomas, fleet sales development manager for Skoda UK, commented: ‘We are proud to partner with EVO to offer such an impressive conversion system to the West Midlands Police. As well as being safe and reliable, these vehicles provide excellent value for money for the police service, comfort for the drivers and outstanding animal welfare.’

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.