Police test new anti-riot vehicle
By DARREN GOODSIR
PREPARING tactics to cope with riots takes many forms - all geared to ensuring police safety.
One of the top priorities is the security and speed of officer transport.
With this in mind, the Police Tactical Unit (PTU), the paramilitary arm whose job is to target internal security problems, is testing a new transport vehicle - a Mercedes-Benz 711D, custom-made to accommodate 20 officers.
Not only is it modern and air-conditioned, it comes with flashing lights and sirens and four special vents capable of discharging tear-gas.
PTU Motor Transport Officer Johnny Chan Chung-yu said the vehicle was undergoing trials before the unit decided whether to replace old stock.
'So far, it seems the officers are able to alight faster - and this is very important,' he said.
'But the other aspects we are examining are its mechanics, power and seating arrangements.' On a tour of the PTU's base at Fanling, the South China Morning Post observed officers conducting a mock operation, spreading out on to the drill square in quick time.
The police filed out of the vehicle before assembling as a unit when safety was assured.
Because of the new vehicle's shape, the roof can be converted into a portable command post.
It is also turbo-charged and has fog lights and power steering.
PTU tactical instructor Senior Inspector Gerry Killen said the trials appeared impressive.