Police unveil cost-saving car ‘black boxes’

editorial image

Northamptonshire Police has unveiled new technology designed to bring the force significant financial savings.

The force is the first in the country to use Artemis Telematics, in-car technology which captures driver and vehicle behaviour.

A black box records how the vehicle is being driven and displays a red, amber or green light on the police car’s dashboard, depending on how the driver is treating the car.

These lights are automatically switched off on 999 calls.

The device should also mean less tyre wear on vehicles and will save money in maintenance.

Representatives from the Home Office and 30 forces across the country attended an open day on Wednesday to show off the technology, which is being fitted to a total of 370 cars across the fleet. More than 270 vehicles already have the device.

Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds said: “This is very good news for the police in Northamptonshire and potentially for forces across the country.

“We have to find considerable savings in the policing budget in the years ahead and this new vehicle technology is a great example of how we need to be working more effectively and efficiently.”

Bob Southgate, police performance and improvement manager, added: “We’re proud to be leading the way with developing this pioneering technology.

“We have led on it nationally from the start and it’s clear from the interest we’ve generated that people are really positive about it.

“As well as an anticipated saving of nearly £200,000 per year on fuel, the device will also allow us to analyse vehicle usage and record key data for any accidents involving police vehicles.”