New police vehicles to be converted by MacNeillie in Walsall
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson
visited MacNeillie in Walsall, one of Europe's leading specialist
vehicle converters and part of Babcock International Group, to see
the coming together of over 30 police forces and agencies in the
purchase of more than 100 new state-of-the-art public-order
The Protected Personnel Carriers will be long-bodied, high roof
Mercedes-Benz Sprinters which will be taken apart and rebuilt by
MacNeillie to create a vehicle which is secure, protected and
West Midlands Police is expected to buy around 60 vehicles under
the framework agreement, which will provide economies of scale
savings of over £800,000 for the wider purchasing group.
Richard Semmens, Managing Director of MacNeillie, said: "We're
proud that our business has now grown to encompass a strong
international footprint - but our heritage is very much rooted in
the West Midlands.
"We're delighted to have been chosen to support this initiative
alongside Mercedes-Benz, working in partnership with the
Commissioner and one of the country's leading police forces. We
look forward to producing a finished vehicle that will serve our
police forces and the public well."
The Commissioner was given a special tour of the site to meet
local workers and see the conversion process.
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said:
"Not only is this great value for money, because police forces and
agencies from across the country have come together to drive down
costs, but this contract is also good for the West Midlands economy
as all of the vehicles will be converted in the region.
"I have made it a key priority of mine to ensure wherever
possible that West Midlands Police's budget is used to support the
regional economy, as well as keep people safe and reduce crime. It
is encouraging to see so many employees from the Midlands that will
be involved in this significant project that will ultimately also
benefit the people of the region and across the country."
He added: "The new Mercedes-Benz vehicles are excellent addition
to our fleet that will serve the force well over the coming
The majority of MacNeillie employees, and those deployed on the
vehicle conversions will be from the Midlands region and will cover
a variety of roles ranging from electrician, coach builder, and
trim worker right through to livery applicators - who will put the
hallmark crest and logo on each van.
MacNeillie has been running an apprenticeship scheme for over 20
years. Apprentices joining the business enrol in a combination of
practical work experience and also attend local colleges in areas
such as Walsall, Sandwell and Dudley, where a National Vocational
Qualification (NVQ) is studied up to a Level
Mercedes-Benz Vans Managing Director Steve Bridge said: "The
Sprinter is already well established as the front-line public-order
van of choice for many UK police forces. Like all Mercedes-Benz
vans, it offers a winning combination of reliability and
durability, performance, payload and safety, as well as highly
competitive operating costs.
"We are delighted now to have had the opportunity to work with
the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, and with our
long-term partner MacNeillie, on the development of the
state-of-the-art public-order van which is the subject of this new,
national framework agreement."
All the vans will be received by MacNeillie as standard road
Sprinters but will then be completely stripped and rebuilt as part
of the specialist conversion in order to create a vehicle which is
secure, protected and durable.
- Each van will have the standard window glass taken out and
replaced with protected glass that can withstand attacks
- Tyres will have a special internal mechanism fitted which will
allow police drivers to continue their journey for up to 30km in
the event of punctures
- MacNeillie will also install the locking systems and people
cells as well as built in storage units to hold police items
It is estimated that the first of the new vehicles for the West
Midlands will be rolled out later this year.