Highly Visible Police Cars

Should police be highly visible or blend into the background? This question applies to Police vehicles as well as to Police walking a beat and many Police Forces around the world are choosing “visible” so have painted their cars with a highly visible pattern known as Battenburg markings.  At a recent Cobourg Police Board meeting, Chief Paul VandeGraaf announced that Cobourg Police will be implementing a Pilot project for 24 months with one car using the new markings.  This will help gauge Officer and Public reaction.  Originating in research in the U.K. in the 1990’s, “the Battenburg pattern was specifically created to maximize the visibility of police vehicles; however, further studies are working to explore how it is perceived in a North American context.”  Cobourg is the third Police service in Ontario to make this change – the others are Barrie and St. Thomas.

Key Points

  • The name comes from its similarity in appearance to the cross-section of a Battenberg cake;
  • The change is expected to “increase our visibility and approachability as a police service as well as enhancing police legitimacy, police-community relations and improving officer safety.”
  • The Pilot project will apply the markings to a Ford Explorer SUV
  • Research shows that conspicuous vehicle markings increase officer safety.
  • Insurance studies also found fewer accidents with white and yellow cars (Allen, 1970).
  • To maximize visibility, the Battenburg pattern is made from retro-reflective wrap.
  • The design choices have been driven solely by research, rather than trying to create a car that presents a stereotypical or more traditional image of the Service to the community.
  • A primary objective is to assist in high-visibility policing for public reassurance and deterrence of traffic violations. plus make police vehicles universally recognisable.
  • During the pilot period there will be an opportunity for members and the public to provide input.

As yet, there is no Cobourg vehicle with the planned markings but below is a sample from Europe. (U.K.).

Battenburg - UK Sample
Battenburg – UK Sample

Resources

Update – 25 September

Comments are once again allowed.

 

 

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michael hanlon
8 months ago

The new police car livery will certainly let the public — and that includes ne’er-do-wells — know that the law is out there, serving and protecting. So why not have police officers themselves kitted out the same boxy blue-and-yellow check?
michael hanlon
Cobourg

Frenchy
9 months ago

Let’em post John. These events are consuming our town and the frustration has to pour out somewhere.
Some feel that our town is at a crisis or tipping point and your topic was what colour to paint our police cars. Something akin to writing about what piece of music the fiddler played while Rome was burning.
cornbread got it.

There were some good posts in that group, hopefully the posters will find a better place to repeat them.

Dave
9 months ago

Changing the colour of police cars is useless.

Rational
Reply to  Dave
9 months ago

Agree. Unless the CPSs’ attitude changes and they take enforcing the laws and protecting Cobourg residents seriously – they may as well have no cars and just work from home.

Danjean
9 months ago

In Britain they are called jam sandwiches, white with a red stripe along the middle!

Eastender
9 months ago

Great idea! The paint scheme is used worldwide. Why not do all the CPS at one time?

Rob
9 months ago

Fair to say the average taxpayer doesn’t care very much what colour the car is or if it has a pattern, just so long as it shows up quickly and appropriate action is taken once the officers arrive.

A few interesting stats from the Downtown Action Plan report presented at the CPS meeting this week:

>1,300 total calls from July 10-Aug 6 and 260 in the downtown area (that’s a big number), 63 arrests during that same period (curious how many are unique arrests vs. repeat offenders), ZERO Controlled Drugs & Substance Act incidents in the downtown area, ZERO interactions with encampments, ZERO Unsanctioned Safe Consumption Site Issues, the report suggests an increase of 11% in overall crime rates in the downtown area however the statistics show an increase of 23%. I know the Chief pops on the blog from time to time, would be nice to hear from him and get some insight into the report, actions and what we can expect in Q4 of 2023

I like the work the HARP does and I’m a big supporter of our CPS – they do very good work, but this report doesn’t demonstrate a focus on the the issues plaguing our downtown and our community as a whole.

marya
Reply to  Rob
9 months ago

Those three ZERO category calls are because we are told that they are not Police Matters by the Owen Sound Dispatcher. They are By-Law Enforcement Officers’ Matters. Where are their statistics revealed?

Newbie
Reply to  marya
9 months ago

We may be off topic in this post? Take a look at what someone put on Town of Cobourg Facebook page. (Screenshot) below. Just click to make bigger.

IMG_0343.jpeg
marya
Reply to  marya
9 months ago

Every article that John prepares strays to this other vital topic that is before us, Newbie. I very much appreciate your tremendous input, experiences and actions. Pete Fisher’s story on todaysnorthumberland.ca about yesterday’s “problem” involving “you know who” is a must read.

Apologies to John Draper!

Sonya
Reply to  marya
9 months ago

Thanks from here too newbie. Our neighbourhood thanks you.

John Draper
Reply to  Sonya
9 months ago

It would be preferred to have this discussion on a relevant Post – how is the drug problem related to the colour of Police cars? Any more off-topic comments on this post and I’ll delete the whole string.

cornbread
9 months ago

Let’s paint a room in the house while the house is on fire. Brilliant!

Merle Gingrich
9 months ago

On a similar note, why have they changed from Police Force to Police Service? When ever they attend to a call they use FORCE, they have black cars and uniforms , this is meant to be a force.
Police Service should be the police board.

Twopenniesworth
9 months ago

I have just had a cursory look at Bill C5 which would apparently be the bill that is permitting judges to release drug dealers without charge and my reading does not say that..
The changes made were to try to limit the number of Indigenous and people of
colour being incarcerated…so unless every drug dealer caught in Cobourg is Indigenous or black they are not supposed to be ‘caught and released’
They should be incarcerated until trial and there are set lengths of prison terms mandated..
So blame the Liberals if you wish but in fact it’s the judges who are not following the law as written..
There are laws to keep dealers off the streets but judges must use them.

Kevin
Reply to  Twopenniesworth
9 months ago

I have not read Bill C5 but it sure sounds racist from what you wrote. We should incarcerate people who break the law regardless of them being ‘indigenous or of colour’. Who appointed the judges? Why can’t we blame politicians, judges and others who support illegal activity. Activity that leads to personal harm and drug related crimes. It is a big problem, there is lots of blame to go around. Lets focus on solutions like putting dealers behind bars and helping addicts get off drugs.

Rob
Reply to  Kevin
9 months ago

Read about the Gladue Act…

ben
Reply to  Twopenniesworth
9 months ago

what has this comment to do with painting police cars? The drug remarks were the previous comments

Old Sailor
9 months ago

I am not sure how a brightly coloured police car will help local citizens feel safe from the swelling number of drug addicts now calling Cobourg home. I am wondering if the public can get a rough estimate of the incremental costs Cobourg and other Northumberland residents are paying because of this insurgence. Like the all-inclusive costs for the winter housing at St. Peters Church, additional service costs at Transition House, hotel and motel costs, monitoring, servicing and cleaning up the West Beach and 600 William Street encampments including daily security costs, incremental costs for paramedics and NHH staff including ER staff, social service costs provided to the homeless encampments, additional policing costs. My guess is we are talking well in excess of $1million on an annual basis. And how about the cost of providing more security for downtown Cobourg residents so they can walk the streets after 5:00 PM and feel safe in the Covert Street parking lot on a Friday night?

A public accounting of these costs would be useful to present to our citizens, MPP, MP and to our Federal government law makers. I am sure Mr. Poilievre would be interested in presenting our findings to Parliament.

Cobourg taxpayer
9 months ago

So we are told the reason the police are unable to arrest illegal drug users and illegal drug intoxication in public is because the current laws passed by the current Liberal government will not allow successful prosecution and the Liberal appointed judges will throw these cases out. We’re told the current catch and release and bail system allowing repeat offenders out on the street to engage in criminal activity again are also due to current laws. Since the taxpaying citizens are telling the police this is not acceptable how about the chief put his efforts into lobbying government to put laws in place so that they can do their jobs? How about the chief form a group with other municipal police forces to fight illegal drug addicts taking over our towns and cities? Instead we have a bunch of illegal drug addicts and their advocates running the show. Painting police cars ridiculous colours is going to do nothing to prevent crime but will certainly waste more tax dollars. I believe the public will have a chance to comment on this ridiculous idea, hopefully sooner rather than later. BTW the police force was given an ATV where is that going to be driven? I think they’re illegal on city streets.

Sonya
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
9 months ago

I believe the government is doing this so citizens will throw their hands up in the air and say ” ok, let’s legalize drugs like what missy is fighting for.”. Let’s abolish the police like her poster says in her office with the big fist on it. We don’t need the police.
Am I the only one seeing this? This is what ,issue calls harm reduction.
Who would like to see the kids educated again on drugs will kill? Who would like to see the police be able to do their job again?
Who would like to see drug addicts going to rehab and be able to work and have a half decent life?
Whom would like to see this so called harm reduction abolished??????
It’s destroying Cobourg and Canada. It’s killing our young people.

Bryan
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
9 months ago

CT and Jones,

I share your anger and frustration with the current homeless/drug/mental health situation. However, your ire with the judges is mis-directed. The federal gov’t is responsible for setting and defining criminal law, not the province or municipality. Further, The judges follow directions and standards regarding “catch and release” set out by the federal and provincial attorney/solicitor generals.

Go after Justin and Dougie. They are the ones responsible.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Bryan
9 months ago

Forget Justin and Dougie; they are a dilution. Go after our MP, Philip Lawrence. If he is a member of the ‘loyal opposition’, then why doesn’t he oppose the 2.5 gram drug experiment in BC? We voted for him, so use him, pile on the pressure. There are a lot of people on this blog complaining, which is good to spread the word, to rally, but focus on our MP. Flood his email with complaints. Leave phone calls daily. Have our news media ask him questions? Has Draper tried to contact him for comment, or Ben Burd, or Pete Fisher or Northumberland News or Northumberland Now, or …

Dave
Reply to  Wally Keeler
9 months ago

I did Wally. Perhaps all ciitzens of Peterborough South should join in on a writing campaign. Wrolte the letter last night.

Dave
Reply to  Dave
9 months ago

Additionally Wally from time to time I also write our “honouragle’ Prime Minister with regard to his policies, mentioned he was dropping in the polls – down 10% at the moment. Happen to have wrote to him about housing and his stance it was not his responsibility. The Opposition is doing its part in Parliament but citizen input is sorely needed. Mostly due I am sure to this last part he has now changed his housing policy and has agreed he is part of the problem and is now decided to contribute to the build of some housing. Currrently Poilievre is hammering him on his drug policies.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Wally Keeler
9 months ago

Our local news media is failing to question our MP vigorously about this. And what about the Cobourg Taxpayers Association? Where are they in this mess? This drug problem is costing Cobourg taxpayers a bundle, and the cost will only increase. Has the CTA contacted our MP about this costly experiment of drug policy? They are big on the counting of nickels and dimes of local policy, but when it comes to federal policy that increases local tax costs, no comment. Myopic.

Responsible people expect individuals to be responsible for themselves, including drug enthusiasts. OK. That includes the community as well. If the community doesn’t take responsibility for its welfare, then squalor has an opening. Community responsibility means contacting those politicians who can effect policy change, not just whine away the day on a blog.

Jones
9 months ago

Just clean up John st, after 20 years the residents deserve a break,stop catch and release,, the judges are the problem not the police

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Jones
9 months ago

Our political leaders are the problem, not judges. Focus on our Govt rep, MP Philip Lawrence concerning this issue.

Scottie
9 months ago

Or why not colour-coodinate the checkboards on the police cars to compliment and match the colours of the tents in the encampment?…. Violent crime is up substantially in Cobourg and this is the way to combat it?!! If it wasn’t so pitiful it would be hilarious but I don’t think anyone here is laughing. How discouraging.

Kevin
Reply to  Scottie
9 months ago

Scottie, maybe this is a case of laugh so we don’t cry. It is a great idea, if you need to justify spending more money. Since other towns in Ontario are already trying it why not wait for the results and then make a decision. Maybe there is not enough work for the size of police force we currently have, they need to take on extra projects. It reminds me of the name change from Brewers Retail to The Beer Store. It will be very clear which cars belong to the police, except maybe they should paint Police Car across the front.

Tucker
Reply to  Scottie
9 months ago

Good idea Scottie. Better yet, just usher the “tenters” out of town and stick with the black.

Dunkirk
9 months ago

Why strive, survey and consult to be #3?

https://www.blueline.ca/and-the-award-goes-to/

Dave
9 months ago

Problem is the addicts don’t care – they are emboldened by Bill C5 and know consequences won’t be forthcoming. What it will help is if you are being personally threatened at that moment you will be much more able to see a cruiser and call them over to at least have a uniform to stand behind rather than be assaulted/robbed,
Otherwise other criminals in the act of break ins will spot them and run before arrest can be enacted.

Newbie
Reply to  Dave
9 months ago

I agree with you Dave, in that police will be visible to those in need of help. However, they will also be highly visible for criminals. Criminals are very sneaky…so to catch sneaky, shouldn’t our police be sneaky (not so visible).

Pete M
9 months ago

Might I suggest another pattern for the cruisers- black and white with 3 letters first two letters the same and all in gold on the white doors?

Pete M
Reply to  Pete M
9 months ago

Sorry should have said last two letters the same
OPP

Leweez
9 months ago

Whatever became of the Harley Davidson motorcycle the police had?
You know, the one they only drove in the parades?
Is it parked somewhere with the segways collecting dust?

Pete M
Reply to  Leweez
9 months ago

Or the mobile kids safety village that was purchased to be used area schools to teach road and bicycle safety? Wasnt there a truck and trailer bought to haul all the equipment from school to school.
I do remember the kids car making the occasional parade appearance.

Sandpiper
9 months ago

Lets face it this is just Marketing
If you want the criminals to see you coming then I guess this is it Bit I always get caught speeding by those hiding out of sight in the bushes or unidentifiable cars coming up behind me on the 401.
So if your not interested in catching bad guys —
Call ahead let them know your on the way
It might make some nieve citizens feel better
but I doubt it Hows that catch and release stuff working out ?

Kyle
Reply to  Sandpiper
9 months ago

Just another publicity stunt and waste of money. They will probably buy a bunch of bobby uniforms now.

Pete M
Reply to  Sandpiper
9 months ago

No where have I read about citizens complaining about the colour schemes of the Town Police cars and how easily they are seen or not.
What have been reading about is how much crime and drug use they are seeing
Maybe the police should focus on solving the real problem of crime before making up a problem- cruiser visibilty- so they have a reason to spend more money to join the “hip kids” crowd services

Are_n
9 months ago

I think this is a great idea. Increased visibility makes officers and the public safer. Not as safe as getting rid of addicts and tent encampments but we have to start somewhere.