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back to article eBay Terror Ambulances of DEATH menace UK - top cops

In a move which would, three decades ago, have seen classic movie The Blues Brothers stillborn, British cops and officials are seeking to prevent private sales of ex-police and emergency services vehicles and uniforms. The Telegraph reports today that senior plods at the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), allied with …

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Hang on a minute...

Er, wouldn't the 'taking the stripes and the flashing blue lights off it' gambit, which already happens suffice? As evinced by the white ex-police Astra driven by my dad, which has neither police insignia or lights. Neither did the rather elderly Bedford CF ex-ambulance that I used to use to go to festivals in. Although, to be fair, it was missing rather more significant items than flashing blue lights and natty stripes; chiefly a windscreen...

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Flame

Wise move

I feel safer already. Good job it's impossible for a terrrst to buy the same model of vehicle as a police car and respray it. Phew.

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Dead Vulture

What concerns me is ...

that the police apparently presume that anyone driving an ex-police car is a member of the police force.

Does this mean that I can get a Vauxhall Omega and gain access to any police station. Maybe I could get a Defender 130 and potter around Hereford's #1 army base.

The vulture? Because somebody needs to put these idiots down.

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Sigh....

This is just as bad as the crap the Yanks believed about exploding pens and model aircraft. Keep talking about possible threats, keep the people scared...

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Stop

Blues Bros != British police cars

I don't remember seeing many of the British police forces cars appearing in this film?

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Silver badge

Toxic Waste and HyperRadioProActive Product.

"*Always common practice when writing classified intel. Or at least it was back when your correspondent was compelled to read the monthly JTAC summaries and similar products, anyway."

Lewis,

Reminds one of the days of Jackanory and Romper Rooms, although you can be assured that things have moved on quite a bit from those early days/steep learning curves. They may have gone away, you know, but what was learnt, as opposed to what was being taught, hasn't gone away and is being actively built upon to Generate Greener and more Pleasant Lands.

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Coat

Be realistic

as any UK plod indulging in activities other than filling forms, jumping on motorists, arresting pensioners etc., would IMMEDIATELY arouse the suspicion of the public - that is, those who can remember what a plod looks like.

The one woth the taser target on the back, please

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2 things re:Terror pants of death

1. you owe me for a new keyboard a new mouse and a new can of coke in relation to that comment

2. I am shure this was/will be a title of a dr who ep

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Coat

Use of old or fake ambulances

The best thing about the newswire article was that each of the instances of Red Crescent ambulances being used for other purposes was done by people who worked for Red Crescent.

I'm waiting for the law that stops anyone from being an ambulance driving if they are a) muslim b) foreign c) a bit funny looking

That'll stop 'em.........

Mine's the one with "Throw rocks at the emergency services, they might be terrorists in disguise!" on the back.

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Coat

Lycra will become default?

I can see it now. No more puffa-jackets and business suits - we'll all be forced to wear Lycra unitards a-la Star Trek or Speedskaters, so that we don't rumble any suspicion.

I suppose they'd be able to work out the men's religion, anyway!

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Suicide vehicle bombings

Do we really need to piss about with legislation when the last lot were defeated by a concrete bollard?

At least if the terrorists have sirens, we'll all get plenty of warning to whip our phones out and tape the incompetence for youtube.

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Bluesmobile

Fix the cigarette lighter...

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Bronze badge

Are you sure about that?

I mean you want to see Widdy sporting a whale-tail?

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Silver badge

Not just Blues Brothers

KLF wouldn't have had their man prop for 'Doctorin' the Tardis'.

All together now, to the tune of Gary Glitter's 'Rock N Roll' --"Doctor Who-oo, Doctor Who etc."

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Pirate

They must be kidding...

...if they think that terrorists are just going to 'buy' ex-emergency services vehicles when they could steal one. How many fire engines are there out there being used as limos, or even legitimate private ambulances - or St.John Ambulances?

If stealing is a bit too naughty for your terrorist, and they're not sooo keen on the suicide part they could always buy one of these from our very own Ministry of DEFENCE for a mere £25k+VAT

http://www.edisposals.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/WFS/Disposals-Public-Site/en_US/-/GBP/ViewProductDetail-Start;pgid=MieqQ4wkQg8000ArvQ_8K1sp0000lkRUhnGV?ProductUUID=PcHAqBEL2fAAAAEa9YzbFish&CatalogCategoryID=l2jAqBELYFwAAAD_F2Vpc4d5&JumpTo=OfferList

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long, cold summer

I like the thong idea, but pullovers, jackets and the such must go as well. Let the police work out whom to try for terrorism and whom for public indecency.

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Stop

If the police are that worried....

Why don't they just RFID Chip all authorised vehicles? Or use ANPR at Emergency scenes. Either of these would show up a false vehicle if the databases were up to date. It doesn't allow, however for the hijacking of a vehicle or for loss of control of registration plates and RFID tags... or for data base errors or infiltration or numberplate/tag swapping or any number of other "system failures".

How paranoid do "they" want "us" to become? Yes, there is a risk. There always has been and always will be as the article points out.

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance but it becomes very time consuming to separate the genuine from false when our "Leaders" trot out such bilge in the form of "assessment". One day, even with constant vigilance, they'll get something past us and we'll be on our way to Germany '33 - or is that their aim?

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RFID

Just put an RFID tag in any official vehicle (we are going to get one in any vehicle anyway), link it to a national database and automated retaliation equipment at critical intersections (any building with a CCTV, the ones that terrorists keep photographing especially in the summer, dressed with Hawaiian shirts and in group of 20s).

So any ex-ambulance for which the government made any cock-up in the database (no risk there) will be instantly destroyed.

At least it will reinforce public trust in a ID card scheme... once all those terrorists are destroyed, we'll be happy to have a chip implanted in our arms....

Of course that won't do anything against those laser carrying fanatics wiling to explode moisturiser at high altitude....

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Alert

Somthing strange in your neighbourhood?

Don't call the Ghostbusters, their car's been impounded!

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Unhappy

Since when has paranoia been a requirement for a Police Officer?

I'm a member of an organisation that delievers blood and other urgently needed medical supplies out of hours for the NHS. We rely on a supply of ex-police and ex-ambulance bikes for our use, as they come ready kitted with "Blues & Twos" ready for use. All we have to do is change the decals.

If this numpty's suggestion is made a paranoid reality, then we're screwed, as kitting the bikes out from scratch costs a small fortune - that is if they don't ban the purchase of the kit as well.

As an aside, anyone who remembers the "IRA Troubles" of the '70s must think this paranoia with "Muslim Extremists" as making a mountain out of a mole-hill. Perhaps it's just a way for certain members of certain organisations to keep themselves "gainfully" employed?

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Rob
Paris Hilton

Shurely shome Mishtake?

Am I being daft?

If I was of mind to blow up things/people using an ambulance as my means of transport...

I think I might have just stolen it, rather than bought it...

"It's a lav-ah-ly runner, just pop ya details on this 'ere V5 for me mate...

... Well thanks you very much Mr..er.. Deathtoalltheiffedels..."

Paris, 'cos I imagine she's had her fair share of policeman strip-o-grams..

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Jon
Alert

For Sale

One ambulance, 1977 Ford Transit, converted to camper, recent respray (mauve), some Mot & tax,130,000 miles, 15 previous owners, beat the rush and buy now!

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Anonymous Coward

Oh dear...

I think someone has been playing a little too much GTA!

As any Top Gear watching fule knows, any car can be turned into something resembling a vehicule belonging to one of our fine racist camera hating officers. I regularly see what I think are police officers on the roads or in town only to find that they are traffic wombles or community support wombles. It's been so long since I saw a bobby that I am not sure if I would recognise one.

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Pirate

More FUD

'lack of legislation' ? But there is clear legislation prohibiting impersonating a police officer.

These unelected, officious, politically-motivated gits will continue to demand more & more powers, that is the nature of unimpeded bureaucracies who have forgotten the moral basis of their existance, they grow like tumors.

Enough! Go catch some burglers & remember who you work for.

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Dam.

There goes my plan to buy an ex police Honda Pan-European when they sell them (Apparently a few forces are getting rid of them because the become unstable at speeds in excess of 170MPH).

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Black Helicopters

More Powers ?

The very fact that ACPO are asking for more powers is more than enough reason for their request to be denied.

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Black Helicopters

They're catching on...

"is the lack of legislation available for the police service to adequately address the threat of pseudo-emergency service vehicles."

Methinks that despite their low IQs, the cops are finally realising that our government will seriously consider legislating against and criminalising just about any behaviour that they request.

Since when did impersonating a police officer cease to be adequate?

I imagine that within times gone past, a top cop could approach the home sec, and ask if they would be so kind as to pass a new law against whatever, as it would make their jobs so much easier, thanks very much. Only to be frequently told to piss off and get on with their jobs using the existing laws as they stood.

It seems to me that those kinds of responses haven't been as frequent as they once were, and that the Old Bill are only just waking up to this. I'm dreading what awful afront to personal liberty they're going to think of next...Once the ACPO have shared this new found enthusiasm for law making amoungst themselves I'm sure there's going to be all manner of requests heading to Jacqui Smith's inbox. Who knows, perhaps this is how she thinks she can assuage her guilt over stiffing them on back pay.

"Yes, sorry about the back pay and all that, it was out of my control, the chancellor point blank refused to pay it. Not my doing at all you see. How can I make it up to you then? Got any new laws you want passing? What? 42 days with out charge? I think I might be able to help you with that. Any thing else? Robot T-shirts, public photography, citizens disputing their rights with you? Oh yes, I think we do something about all those too."

Black Helicopter, 'cause I'm sure there will be one overhead shortly, now they know I've rumbled their ruse.

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Flame

Here's a thought...

If the IRA (Catholic) were trained by Gaddafi and the PLO (Muslim), does that make the Pope a supporter of a Terrorist Organisation?

Send him to Gitmo immediately!!!!

Mine's the one with the nomex lining...

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Bronze badge

Simple answer

Why not ship all the politicians, plods, security twits etc. off to some place like St. Kilda. That way we could put the running of the country out to tender.

Seriously, we survived the IRA without all this stupidity, I can only assume that NuLabour thinks that by appearing to do something the wishful thinking will make it go away or they are following a stalinist agenda and are hoping we won't see it.

Their continual 'consultations' and 'reports' have only one purpose - money laundering on a grand scale at our expense. If they cut out all the useless paper pushing and 'jobs for the boys' they would have time and money to look at the cause and not the symptoms.

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Anonymous Coward

Where did these vehicles come from, anyway ?

If somebody is driving an ex-police car, and assuming that he didn't steal it from a police officer, doesn't that mean that the POLICE have sold that car?

Not necessarily, to the person currently driving it, but they have surely sold it to SOMEBODY in order for it to be RE-sold.

The police have the necessary power to stop people reselling police vehicles on ebay or anywhere else for that matter -- they simply don't SELL the things when they reach the end of their intended life.

It would be difficult if the Chinese were making fake police cars ... but that's a different ebay story.

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For Christ's sake people....

There's no "H" in Surely.

And stop calling me Shirley.

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Coat

uniformed = suspect

We know that all shoes must be checked on airplanes because a terrorist once used a shoe to conduct a (failed) attack.

We also know that terrorists have used official police/military uniforms while carrying out attacks.

Therefore, we must instigate mandatory and highly intrusive checks on all potential terror suspects - ie anyone wearing an official uniform.

Checkpoints, mandatory DNA id (something not currently required of UK police, interestingly), scanning equipment, civilians trained in strip searching, etc. All these must be put in place at any location that may be threatened or frequented by uniform bearers.

The legitimate uniform wearers have nothing to fear. Only those with something to hide need have fear.

When this is done, we can once more feel the gentle breeze of freedom upon our great land.

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IT Angle

Beating traffic jams

I used to find an ex-ambulance very useful for taking Scouts to camp... the cars getting out of the way didn't see the trailer full of camping gear 'till we were past.

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Black Helicopters

"What concerns me," said Hampshire assistant chief constable Steve Watts,

"... is every movie plot threat that I get a script for..."

He went on: "These Movie script writers have incredibly well developed imaginations. They invent threats where none really exists and generally make it so that EVERYTHING is a risk; thus we need to 'protect' EVERYTHING imaginable.

Admittedly, this requires a HUGE amount of resources that don't exist and stops us from concentrating on genuine threats - but so long as it increases our budgets and restricts the freedoms and increases the inconvenience to the proletariat, sorry, citizens, then we're all for it.

"The more things that we can get the people of this nation to FEAR, the easier they will be to control. We've got them fearing and grassing up photographers, anyone with a tan/beard, anyone with a transformers t-shirt, anyone with a t-shirt that mocks the fear-mongers (security/govt. establishment)... we've got the whole country on the run... They're accepting the need for 42-day detention, ID-cards, CCTV, ANPR, DNA Databases.

"I'm currently reading a new script about the danger of shadows..."

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Freedom to make it up as you go along

It's almost as if a request has gone out, "has anyone got any new laws for us to pass before we go into recess?". "Come on now, someone must need something?"

Police, "Er, how about one banning ex-police vehicles? They could be used to impersonate the police you know."

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Thumb Down

Terrorist?

They are fighting invaders of their country

They may be the rat-bastard enemy

but they can hardly be called terrorists

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False police car menace

Does this mean the end of HATOs (Highways Agency Traffic Officers) in their ever-so-nearly police liveried 4x4s, sitting on roadside ramps and cruising round at 65mph, causing the poorly-informed and blurry-eyed motorist to stick to the 1967 vintage 'temporary' 70mph limit?

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Your taxes at work.

Nice to see resources pouring into the security FUD black hole.

You are more likely to be killed by one of Lembit Opik's asteroids.

It's about time Alex (Lord) Carlile crossed to NuLabour as he sounds less like a Lib Dem every day.

He supported the infamous "control orders" and extending the detention without charge legislation.

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Stop

@Here's a thought

"If the IRA (Catholic) were trained by Gaddafi and the PLO (Muslim), does that make the Pope a supporter of a Terrorist Organisation?"

WTF? A resoundingly stupid comment from a no doubt moronic person. Go back to reading the Sun please.

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Anonymous Coward

Anonymoushe

Shum mishtake, shurely?

I'm either drunk or Sean Connery...

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Jay
Flame

ECE104

There is legislation for this already in ECE104 but I believe the Police have never attempted a prosecution.

ECE104 stops ANY vehicle from trying to look like a state emergency vehicle. This includes Private ambulances and private security firms but is never enforced.

Another case of failing to use a law that already exists and calling for another to appear in its place because it will magically cure all of lifes little problems.

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Anonymous Coward

Wait a minute...

... the police round my way drive Vauxhall Astras/Vectras. ANYONE can buy an Astra/Vectra and a tub of white paint. Most anyone can get a hold of dayglo paint and some cardboard. 2 days work + £5k would probably do it.

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Black Helicopters

Police state incoming

ACPO and the Police in general will always be asking for new laws. Anything which makes things easier for them, regardless of what liberties it tramples over. The fact that the Blair, Brown partnership keeps giving it to them results in them asking for more and more ridiculous stuff.

The sooner we get these incompetent loons out of power the better.

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Happy

Sorted

Just have a legal requirement to paint "I really am not a terrorist" on the side of all emergency vehicles.

Sorted. That will fool the really nasty, 'orrible terrorists.

Anyone else think they really need to change biscuits and whatever they are drinking at these ACPO meetings??

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Silver badge
Stop

Oh look, it's another Terrorist Bogeyman story.

No doubt this "loophole" will be closed with another "Christmas Tree" piece of legislation (where everyone gets to hang something on it, like the Serious and Organised Crim Act or the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act) and, under the guise of "protecting us" yet more liberties get whittled away.

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Paris Hilton

Re ECE104

Here's an idea for a new law:

"You can't have any new laws until you properly enforce the ones you already have".

If existing laws are not adequate, then they should be amended or repealed and replaced. As a citizen (or am I still a subject?) I have an obligation to know the law (as in 'ignorance is no defense'). Tell you what, we'll all potter down to the library (no wait, they closed it) and spend the next couple of years reading all the new legislation. In the meantime someone else can pay the tax bill.

I'm off to shoot a Scotsman in York (but he must be carrying a bow and arrow, otherwise apparently it isn't legal), go for a wee in a policeman's helmet (after all, equality works both ways these days. What do you mean I have to be pregnant, where's that European Court of Human Rights gone when you need it?) and name my pig Napoleon (can't do it France, thank goodness we won Waterloo!).

Perhaps we should start a protest day, when we all stick the Queen on upside down on our letters and send them to the Police. Safer than deliberately contracting the plague and flagging a taxi down, or at least until they hang us for treason.

I'm off to do my compulsory 2 hours longbow training. Might come in handy one day. V sign to all to indicate I have both my drawing fingers.

Hmm. No V sign icon. have to be Paris then.

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Stop

PS...

"What concerns me," said Hampshire assistant chief constable Steve Watts, "is the lack of legislation available for the police service to adequately address the threat of pseudo-emergency service vehicles."

And what concerns me is that these "pseudo-emergency service vehicles" could be let through security cordons without proper checking because "oh, well, they're one of us, they must be ok..."!

Stop sign because...

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Destroy all EMS vehicles

If its so important to deny the terrorists these vehicles why don't they just destroy them when they have finished using them, rather than selling them on e bay. Oh I know why! Because money is more important than the reality of the 'perceived' (invented) threat. I would hazard a guess that more people die in accidents involving Police or other Emergency service vehicles than from 'terrorist' spectatculars. Perhaps they should just not buy liveried cars and drive around in unmarked cars all the time.

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Black Helicopters

Really are you serious

Here in texas they resell all of the old police vehicles of course absent are all of the bells and whistles that make it a cop car and its pretty damn obvious that the boys in blue are riding around it.

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Stop

Windfall

I guess that they are just looking for ways of spending the treasury windfall that arrived on the back of the rising price of oil via fuel taxes that are really extortion. After all, those nice custom ambulance bodies dont come cheap.

As for Police vehicles, umm... remove lights and livery and t-cut... suddenly you have a saleable civilian car... thus protecting the public purse from governmental waste like this.

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