Urban police forces across the world could soon be taking to electric three-wheelers to boost crowd control and cut crime.
Dubbed Raptor, the electric vehicles are being trialled at several police forces worldwide, with some already taking orders for everyday use.
The vehicles, which have a top speed of 40km/hr (25m/hr), are designed for both indoor and outdoor use, meaning they could be utilised for everything from patrols to sporting events.
Paul Loomes, managing director of Ecospin, the British company behind Raptor, described the vehicles as “Segways on steroids”.
They are driven in a similarly upright style, but are far more nippy, allowing for quick ground coverage and apprehension of criminals.
The vehicles are particularly effective for crowd control due to their ability to elevate police officers above the heaving masses.
Their ability to start and stop quickly also enables fast dismounting, which Loomes suggested could be effective if an officer needs to quickly jump off and taser an offender.
Their primary use, however, could be in patrols. A trail with French police that saw officers wearing pedometers on foot patrols before using Raptors as an alternative saw far more ground covered with the vehicles, increasing police presence.
The trial saw a remarkable 12% drop in crime in just three months.
Raptors can already be found in several countries worldwide. Loomes said that vehicles have been deployed in the USA, Israel, Mexico, Ireland, England, Canada and Australia.
Montreal police force has already ordered several units for its airport operations, presumably because of the vehicle’s ability to cover ground quickly, and Ecospin has also had an order from Dallas police.
Other forces that have trialled the vehicles include the UK’s Leicester Police and New York Police Department.
Raptors are not just effective policing vehicles, however. They are also being touted as emergency vehicles for paramedics, as well as for a variety of municipal uses.
Private companies and individuals can even make orders, suggesting that Raptor could even become a familiar site of office campuses.
Images courtesy of Raptor / Ecospin Ltd