The force has taken 10 cars on loan to help it operate during the lockdown.

The Metropolitan Police Service vehicle fleet has been bolstered with 10 Mitsubishis after the Japanese company responded to the force's request for more cars. As a result, a mix of Mitsubishi Outlander PHEVs and ASX SUVs have been dispatched to help the service carry out its important work while lockdown continues.

The Metropolitan Police Service, which polices London, sent out a plea for extra vehicles to help it patrol the capital, as well as carry out more laborious police work related to the coronavirus crisis. Mitsubishi responded with an offer of 10 loan vehicles, all of which were held at Mitsubishi Motors’ UK headquarters in Cirencester. That meant a “relatively straightforward” collection that could adhere to public health guidelines regarding social distancing.

After being transported down the M4 to London last week, the vehicles have entered daily use as police vehicles. It’s a role Mitsubishi says it is happy for the vehicles to fulfill for “as long as is necessary”.

2020 Mitsubishi ASX

In that, the Japanese manufacturer has become the latest to offer cars to frontline organisations, following Nissan and MG’s pledges to provide vehicles to the NHS. On a smaller scale, companies including Isuzu have offered cars to organisations helping out with the fight against Covid-19.

“When we were approached about providing additional vehicles to the Metropolitan Police Service, to help them in the fight to curtail the coronavirus, we were only too happy to help,” said Clive Messenger, the general manager for fleet operations at Mitsubishi Motors in the UK. “We found all the suitable vehicles we had on site and made every one available for immediate collection. Our small contribution pales in comparison to the sacrifices our emergency services, NHS staff, carers and key workers are making, but we are happy to help where we can.”

Nightingale Hospital Birmingham

The news comes as the country enters its seventh week of coronavirus lockdown - a social distancing measure introduced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on March 23. Under the rules of the lockdown, citizens must keep travel to a minimum, leaving home only to exercise, commute or for essential trips, such as food shopping or going to the doctor. Where possible, the people are being urged to work from home.

As of 09:00 on May 4, government figures showed almost 950,000 people have been tested for the Covid-19 virus, of whom 190,584 tested positive. As of 17:00 on May 3, 28,734 of those who tested positive had died.