VDL Bus & Coach delivers first crowd and riot control buses
On Monday 6 February 2017, VDL Bus & Coach, part of VDL Groep, will deliver two crowd and riot control vehicles to the Mercedes-Benz dealership in Maasdijk (NL). These are the first buses from an order for 256 crowd and riot control buses that VDL Bus & Coach is converting as a subcontractor. As regards vehicle conversion it is the largest order in VDL history. VDL Bus & Coach has also been awarded the 10-year repair and maintenance contract. The value of the order will not be disclosed.
The vehicles will be delivered to the Dutch police in March 2017 through the Mercedes-Benz dealer. The first batch consists of 44 group vehicles and 11 command vehicles. The last vehicles from this first batch will be delivered in late June 2017. The final delivery of buses for the complete order will take place in 2019. The police chose white as the new colour for the crowd and riot control buses. These buses will replace the current dark blue vehicles.
The conversion of the vehicles is being done at VDL Bus Venlo. VDL Bus Venlo has delivered many custom-made vehicles for the police over the years. This is the first time the work is being carried out in a production line, to make the conversion process for this order as efficient as possible. The compact Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is used as the base vehicle. This makes the crowd and riot control buses very agile and perfectly suited for their intended task, allowing the riot police to move through crowds of people in small groups. The order consists of group vehicles and command vehicles. The group vehicle offers space for 9 people: the driver and the commandant in the cab, a team of 6 and possibly 1 suspect behind. Features of this bus include extra-wide side on either side, special windows and a holding cell. The command vehicle has room for the driver and commandant in the cab and 2 operators in the rear of the vehicle. There is also a a conference table. A variety of technical equipment is also added, such as a high-tech sound system, which lets the police address people up to a kilometer away.
The Dutch police is made up of 10 regional units, the National Unit and the Police Service Centre. The main structure of the police has 3 closely cooperating levels: national, regional and local. Police management, supported by the Police Management Executive, functions at national level. This also applies on an operational level for the National Unit, which amongst other things carries out cross-regional and specialist policing tasks, and the Police Service Centre, which brings together all management departments. The 10 other units operate at regional level. Within these units, local districts consist of basic teams, a district intelligence unit and a flexible response team.