Police Cost Taxpayers More Than £50,000 By Putting Wrong Fuel In Patrol Cars!
Police officers mistakenly filled patrol cars with the wrong type of fuel nearly 300 times in 2017 – at a cost of more than £50,000 in repairs.
Of the UK’s 45 police forces, 40 responded and 33 admitted paying out for repairs to a police vehicle after a misfuelling incident last year.
Some 299 incidents of misfuelling were recorded in total across the country, costing a total of £53,337- at an average cost of £178 a time.
West Midlands Police recorded the most incidents – 66, at a cost of £3,737. The Met Police had 49 incidents, costing £17,589.57 in total to repair, while Police Scotland had 16, costing £2,004.92.
West Midlands Police fleet manager Gary Mallett said mistakes increased after 2013 when the force moved away from internal fuel sites and fuel keys to external fuel stations in a cost-cutting exercise.
He said: “We saw a major spike in the number of misfuels in 2013-14 and addressed this by notifying users and local vehicle leads of the volume and cost of the mistake.
“We also labelled all vehicles with the fuel type as a reminder of the correct fuel that should be used.
“This has had a positive effect, with around a 53% reduction in the number of misfuels, but more importantly around a 90% reduction in actual cost of repairs.
“We put out regular reminders to staff, and this is continuing to have an impact on reducing the problem.”
Edmund King, AA president, said: “Perhaps we need a little more detective work at the pumps to ensure that the right fuel goes in the right car.
“Until all police cars are electric we will probably still see misfuelling problems.”
A spokesman for the National Police Chiefs’ Council said: “The misfuelling of police vehicles is relatively rare, especially when you consider that forces have thousands of vehicles which are in constant use and require frequent refuelling.
“Police drivers will often move from one vehicle to another depending on operational requirements, which can increase the possibility of mistakes being made.”
John O’Connell, chief executive of pressure group the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “It’s staggering that such a simple mistake is being made almost daily.
“This careless attitude shows a lack of respect for those same taxpayers who both pay their wages and are forced to pay for the repairs.
“Millions of people manage this task with their own cars by taking a modicum of care – police officers should extend the same courtesy to their vehicles.”