Tuesday 26 September 2017

£60,000 spent on police fuel errors

Strathclyde Police recorded 185 incidents of mis-fuelling in the five-year timeframe
Strathclyde Police recorded 185 incidents of mis-fuelling in the five-year timeframe

More than £60,000 has been spent draining and repairing police vehicles in the last five years after the wrong type of fuel was pumped into their tanks.

Strathclyde Police, Scotland's largest force, spent more than double the amount of any other force, running up a bill of £22,536 since 2007. The force, which currently has 1,121 vehicles in its fleet, recorded 185 incidents of mis-fuelling in the five-year timeframe.

Fife Constabulary recorded two instances, both in 2008, each costing £5,100, giving the force a total spend of £10,200. It said there had been no other incidents between 2007 and 2012.

Grampian Police, which has had a total of 76 mis-fuelling incidents since April 1 2007, spent £9,936 fixing its vehicles. Lothian and Borders and Tayside forked out just over £5,600 each. However, while Tayside recorded 26 incidents, Lothian and Borders only had seven.

One incident in 2007 in the Lothian and Borders force area cost £5,221.53 and involved a BMW. The vehicle had been run after it was mis-fuelled, meaning it needed a complete new fuel system, tank, new fuel lines and injectors.

Central Scotland Police recorded 25 incidents since 2006, costing £5,339.51, while Dumfries and Galloway came in lowest of all the forces, with a bill of only £526.31 for 10 incidents.

Northern Constabulary said it was unable to provide annual figures as they were not stored electronically, but said it believed the number of incidents was down to "one or two per year", costing up to £150 each time.

It said: "The fleet manager notes that we have a reducing number of these incidents each year as officers are made more aware of the potential issues. We have fitted mis-fuel prevention devices to most of our vehicles."

The figures were obtained through a freedom of information request to all eight of Scotland's police forces.

Campaign group Taxpayer Scotland said such mistakes can cost police forces a "fortune" in cash and resources. The group's Robert Oxley said: "Simple measures such as reminders on fuel caps would help ensure officers don't repeat this kind of avoidable error. Individuals should have to take responsibility for the costs incurred if they continually make the same blunders."

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