£150,000 supercars seized from criminals will be used to crack down on illegal street racing and vehicle theft
Police in the Czech Republic have turned a 200-mile Ferrari into their latest patrol vehicle to crack down on illegal racing.
The 2011 Ferrari 458 was confiscated as criminal property and after years in storage has now been modified to serve as the squad’s most recognizable pursuit vehicle.
The 570hp supercar, which uses a 4.5-litre V8 engine and can reach a top speed of 325km/h, is worth around £150,000 but has been converted for CZK 340,000 (about £11,500) – less than the price of a new Skoda Scala hatchback.
Modifications include wrapping the red bodywork in a full silver, blue, and yellow police livery, adding lights and sirens, and attaching a camera system and handheld flash gun.
The 458 is used by specially trained officers from the Special Surveillance Department to crack down on illegal street racing and track and recover stolen cars.
The Czech police participate in up to 30 international “races” each year, where high-performance cars are often driven irresponsibly that normal patrol cars can’t keep up with.
Jiří Zlý, director of the traffic police, said in a translated statement: “The vehicle will be used in a nationwide unit against aggressive drivers.
“We can also use it when tracking stolen vehicles going to neighboring countries. The range of tasks for the vehicle is really large.”
He added that the Ferrari, which will cost around £855 a year to maintain, wasn’t even the most valuable or rarest car police have seized.
In the last year alone, officials have confiscated nearly 900 criminals’ cars. While some will be retained and used as official police vehicles, the “vast majority” will be sold, with proceeds “used to cover damage caused by the perpetrator”.
The Czech police are not the first to use high-performance cars as patrol cars. Dubai authorities have a fleet of supercars to keep up with the well-heeled locals, including Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Bentleys, and the Italian Traffic Police have a Lamborghini Huracan to sit alongside their regular Alfa Romeos.