Things have certainly moved on a pace in the world of police transport and, every copper expects to be piloting a highly tuned battenburg coloured mobile phallus these days! The time spent in cars whizzing from one place to the next without ever spending time talking to those we police may be one reason why the Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) principle has been forced upon every force in the country by govt. puppets, sorry I mean Chief Constables. I have nothing against the principle of community policing in fact I positively applaud it. After all, it's a major reason why I joined a provincial force and not a metropolitan one! And, getting back to the cars issue, the first one I was alowed to drive was a mini van and only on night shift because of the large area I had to cover (alone), an area that was probably in the region of 20-25 miles north to south and east to west.
(our vans were grey then blue but not panda livery).
Back to Community Policing; Out in the sticks we are being hit with an NPT one size fits all principle, not so! There may have been a need return to community based policing principles in some of the larger urban forces but not here. Community policing never died, community policing is what we have always done, and with very limited numbers. Policing by consent not by force, the major foundation of why the British police system works (or used to). Now we have Response Officers and NPT Officers with a strict job/remit demarcation between the two. An increase in the demands placed on 24/7 officers and in some cases less than third of the establishment able to deal with that demand? In some cases there are less officers able to respond to demand now than there were 20+ years ago? There's police modernisation and progress for you... At least we can get from A to B quicker these days!