I unfortunately drove past an accident on the M62/A1 junction at Ferrybridge on Sunday.
As well as the slightly mangled cars there was also a black Audi unmarked Police car parked on the hard shoulder of the motorway. In addition to the flashing blue lights on the rear parcel shelf and behind the front grill, there was also a roofbox and bike carrier complete with a several bikes installed on the Audi.
Watch out for the wolf in sheep's clothing on the M62!
Yup, they have a lot of them. On the lhr-lgw bit of the M25 they used to have Audis, Golfs and BMWs. Thames Valley (M4 and M 40) appear to have a mixed fleet aswell. It's nearly enough to make you want to drive within the limits!
In the States the police use about everything you can think of as unmarked cars. Normal sedans, pickups, vans, SUVs and even sports cars such as Corvettes and TranAms. The high end cost vehicles usually come from seized assets, ie drug dealers.
However, usually all the antennas they have mounted all over the back of the vehicle gives them away.
I understand in the U.S. that unmarked police vehicles are listed in city budget disclosures - including the year and colour of the vehicle. Is this true?
I really don't know for a fact, however, I would certainly believe so, if public money is spent on anything it must be reported to public. If not, one can always file a FOIA, Freedom of Information Act, request.
Is it possible that the unmarked black Audi was assigned to a 'senior' officer as personal transport and they had been out on a leisure activity when the call came in? It was, apparently, Sunday, after all . . .
If it was a major callout (or they were under-resourced) it's possible that a 'big chief' might attend despite being off-duty.
Of course it might have been a fire-chief . . .
(see above for explanation of the bikes)
(does the ambulance service have senior personnel that might be needed to attend such an incident?)
Alternatively (and less likely IMO) is that it was being operated by an undercover team who wanted to be able to follow into places where a vehicle wouldn't be appropriate? (I don't see that such would attend an RTA.)
Some ambulance service senior managers have personal unmarked lease vehicles with a response facility. I can only speak for the ambulance service but these managers respond to 'routine' emergency calls and larger scale incidents in and out of work time.
The lights fitted tend to be covert clear LEDs so the car can be used as a regular family vehicle as well; hence bike racks/roof boxes etc which is why I don't think the car in question is anything too sinister.
However, sometimes covert is not enough, one of my managers recently had his car vandalised when it was (presumably) mistaken for a bill car.
Black or brown Crown Vics here in Ontario. There are a few "exotics" but they are usually on loan or some kind of evaluation or pilot project. They come and they go, but if you see a Crown Vic (it is amazing how you learn to recognize them) behind or ahead you slow down.
This is what Toronto Police cars used to look like in the 70s and 80s until they got tired of tourists hailing them down and trying to get in the back.