Converted for police work by the manufacturer’s Special Vehicle Operations division, they feature window grilles plus reinforced bodywork and glass. Equipped with sirens and blue lights, and displaying high-visibility chevrons and other markings plus the Northumbria Police crest, they’ll remain in service for up to five years. They look set to do around 100,000 miles apiece over that period.

The Boxers will spend most of their time with the force’s six Area Command Units, from Berwick in the north to Sunderland in the south and Hexham in the west. However they could find they’re working elsewhere in the UK if another force needs help.

Each of the Peugeots is designed to carry specialised equipment, including riot shields, and the amount of weight they transport is higher than one might expect. “They can carry more equipment and have a stronger front axle than our previous vehicles,” says fleet manager, Keith Wilson. “This means we can distribute weight more evenly; vehicles on this work frequently operate fully-laden.”

Powered by 120hp 2.2-litre HDi diesel engines, the Boxers are all heavy-duty 440 L4 H2 120 models with a 15.0m3 load area and a gross payload of 1,900kg.

LDV used to handle a high percentage of police minibus business. It’s interesting to note that its rivals are making headway in the sector in the wake of the company’s well-publicised difficulties.