Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Police Shop Reviews

People often ask me to recommend a police shop for their kit and equipment needs and I almost always recommend they shop at PatrolStore.com for any of their equipment or uniform supplies.

As Police Shops go PatrolStore has one of, if not the best, websites for browsing law enforcement equipment in general they have the best quality images, normally 1000*1000 pixels with a handy zoom feature AND the option to go "Full Size" with the picture view and normally multiple product shots with different angles, or a stock image and a model image as well which really allows you to asses what you are buying before it arrives in the post.  Combined with product videos which are also a common feature of the PatrolStore police shop, plenty of (what appear to be genuine) customer reviews, detailed product reviews written with the user in mind and a good "Tech Spec" sheet you really do get the best insight into your product purchase.

Being a specialist police shop there is never going to be as many reviews as you would get for consumer products on Amazon for example but PatrolStore seems to have the most of any of the other police, military or security shops and compared to one police-supplies shop the reviews appear to be a lot more genuine, they have published positive and negative feedback about both the products and their own service and sometimes include a response to the customer review with some input of their own.  As regular kit reviewer myself, I always look for customer reviews when shopping online.

PatrolStore also offer some of the best service available, the website shows when items are out of stock (I don't understand how any e commerce business operates without this feature but I know the vast majority of police shops are way behind the times on this) and they offer a range of delivery options including next day priority courier and even Saturday Morning Guaranteed (though this is a pretty expensive courier option) and of course a reasonably priced 2-3 day standard "economy service".  One of the most innovative features of the patrolstore shop is the timed delivery window for anything that goes with their courier, Interlink Express . You get an email on the day it is dispatched telling you it will be with you the next working day, and on the day you get an email AND A TEXT!!! (if you supply a mobile number at checkout) telling you a 1 hour slot in which your parcel will be delivered.  This is a fantastic feature and really cuts down on the wait at home all day only to have the courier come and go while you are in the bathroom for 5 mins and have to wait in the next day as well.

Of course you can shop for all the usual police brands, 5.11, Magnum, Op. Zulu, Maglite, Led Lenser, Peli, Tactical Jack, Lowa, Bates, Blackhawk etc.and comparing them to their rivals they seem to be pretty consistently the cheapest (esp when you add in some of the crazy hidden shipping fees from other police-military sites).  They even have a price beat promise in that they will match any other site and deliver it free so they are pretty confident in their competitiveness.

The final thing to always consider when shopping online for anything (not just your police bits and pieces) is the returns policy and when you read the T&Cs out there you will see PatrolStore offer one of the most flexible and easy to use, allowing you book your own return in online and send it back without having to phone during limited customer services hours, or send emails back and forth, another real plus.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Baton Holders

There are many different baton holder varieties on the market from a range of different brands (most designed to fit their brand and not competitors) and styles. The most well know baton brand is ASP, so much so that that the ASP name has become synonymous with the product, much like "hoover" or "biro" but ASP is just an acronym of Armament Systems and Procedures Inc an American company founded in 1976 to develop law enforcement compliance products.

Asp baton holders come in two main flavours, the rigid polymer baton holder and the material nylon holder. Both are designed to be belt mounted but the polymer baton holder has a distinct advantage over it's nylon counter part in that it can be rotated ton any of 8 different angels making it universally popular with right and left handed users wherever you like to mount your baton. The nylon style baton holder only allows for the straight vertical position. The nylon holder however will accommodate most other brands of straight telescopic batons, the polymer holder will only accept ASP batons properly and some styles of Monadnock.

The altnertative to the ASP polymer holder is the Peter Jones KilckFast version which is designed to be more universal and still offers both the security and the rotational advantages of the Asp product. The other major advantage is price, the Peter Jones baton holder being just over £10 cheaper than the asp.

If you are looking for a leather product then the best option in Price Western Leather (PWL) who offer a 3 position option (again making it acceptable for most left or right handed users). This baton holder is made from high quality black finished leather, but PWL also offer the only side handle baton holder which is made from a semi rigid nylon construction.