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Why this brand-new police bus has a mast on its roof

August 8, 2022

Video vehicle

Camera images are increasingly helping police to get a better picture of the situation at incidents. Although there are cameras everywhere in the Netherlands these days, the police sometimes lack the ability to take video footage themselves in a quick way. To address this, the Rotterdam Police Unit is running a pilot with a new video vehicle as of August 2022.

360 degrees

You can compare the new police vehicle a bit to a video vehicle that Google uses to capture the world in Google Maps. However, it is even more advanced. On the roof, the vehicle has a rotating camera on a mast and four dome cameras that provide a 360-degree view around the vehicle.


There are not only cameras mounted on the roof, but also a number of sensors. The thermal sensor and the regular day/night vision sensor of the rotating camera complement each other to provide a complete picture of the environment. Thanks to the thermal imaging sensor with contrast display, smoke clouds, darkness and fog are no longer an obstacle to image generation. There will also be a number of livestream bodycams in the vehicle.


The camera can be operated by the agent in the vehicle itself, but if the situation requires it, also by an employee in the control room. There it is possible to remotely observe and estimate whether additional police deployment is necessary, or indeed less.

12 months

The pilot starts in the municipality of Dordrecht and lasts 12 months. 15 officers have been trained to work as operators with this vehicle. The access and use rules that apply to this camera footage are the same as for all other camera footage collected by the police themselves. The captured images are stored for 28 days and then automatically deleted.

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