Depending on the primary use, police buses might have markings or a livery indicating its operation by the police, and also have appropriate equipment fitted. Police buses can be ordinary vehicles, or have some degree of passenger protection, or be fully fitted armoured buses for riot control.
Seated buses are used by police forces for transporting large numbers of officers to operational areas, such as for crowd control at sports events and demonstrations, or to facilitate large scale deployments for more serious riot control, such as the UK miners' strike (1984–1985). These may be hired vehicles, or vehicles retained by the police force for the purpose. The majority being Mini buses for local deployments.
Police buses are also used at some large events as static temporary holding and processing areas, where detained people can be processed, and held until onward transport in another vehicle is possible. Police buses may also serve as prisoner transport vehicles in countries where the police force has responsibility for this.
The police may also use buses converted by a bus manufacturer or other specialist company (from a new or retired school bus-style body), to serve more specific purposes. This can be as a mobile incident control room or mobile command post, or even as small mobile police stations for public events. Toronto Police Service have used retired transit buses for their fleet.
Behind the scenes roles for converted police buses can include being used in public information or awareness campaigns, or as mobile recruitment displays.
Even in Circumstances when the Urban Transport Service is interrupted by strikes or another problems, the local police forces may uses their buses to transport workers into facilities if the situation is critical, such as during mas demonstrations & picketing of mines, docks or power stations.
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