England Officers Wrecking Hundreds of Police Cars In Parking Lots

9:22AM GMT 04 Feb 2011

Officers in Staffordshire have reported 147 accidents involving vehicles in their own police station car parks between April, 2008 and December, 2010 while Cheshire Police have managed 91 crashes in their car parks in the same period.

The list of incidents included a police vehicle crashing into a post causing £2,149 damage; a police car crashing into a wall causing £1,450 damage and a patrol van hitting a car park height restriction barrier causing £1,069 damage.

The combined estimated damage for the forces is £115,784, though the final figures may be adjusted by insurers.

Emma Boon, Campaign Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “It’s very worrying that police have had so many bumps in their own car park and something needs to be done urgently to make sure that this is not an ongoing cost for taxpayers.

“Accidents do happen but there is clearly a problem that is not being resolved if so many are occurring in the same place in such a short space of time.

“Officers need to get to the bottom of this and in the meantime they should take extra care and attention so that taxpayers money is not wasted due to carelessness.”

Staffordshire’s £83,902 estimate included injuries or damage to vehicles or property within the car parks, as well as 32 more accidents which involved slips, trips and falls.

Now some officers have been told to improve their driving standards.

A report to Staffordshire Police Authority states: “Accidents within police stations remain an issue.

“Police divisions have been charged with monitoring driving standards and have been profiling individual officers to improve standards of behaviour and to ensure that training was put in place.”

Staffordshire Police have lost 65 police officers and 155 police staff in the past year as they battle a £6.7 million cut in their £190 million budget.

A spokesman said: “The number of accidents in police station car parks has fallen gradually in the last three years.

“The force has a fleet of more than 550 vehicles, which covered almost 9.5 million miles last year.”

Cheshire Police are preparing to lose 213 police officers and 446 staff over the next four years as they make £36.5 million cuts.

“The force’s 638 vehicles covered 12 million miles last year.

A Cheshire Police spokesman said: “We have 34 car parks at police stations and sub-stations and they are busy. When vehicles are damaged, repairs are carried out as economically as possible.”

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