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£2.5million on Norfolk police hire cars

PUBLISHED: 15:00 01 January 2010 | UPDATED: 09:56 01 July 2010

Ben Kendall

Norfolk police has spent almost £2.5m on hire cars to bolster its frontline fleet over the last five years, new figures have revealed.

Norfolk police has spent almost £2.5m on hire cars to bolster its frontline fleet over the last five years, new figures have revealed.

The bill dwarfs that of neighbouring forces and is on a par with far larger constabularies, but a spokesman said the decision to hire rather than buy a number of police cars had actually saved taxpayers money.

Since 2004 Norfolk's hire car bill has reached £2.48m compared to £753,000 in Cambridgeshire and £378,000 in Suffolk. Greater Manchester police, one of the biggest forces in the country, spent £2.5m.

A Norfolk police spokesman said that a large proportion of the vehicles were fitted with blues and two and used for frontline duties. In many cases a decision has been made to hire rather than buy vehicles because, when maintenance and the cost of replacements is taken into account, it can represent better value for money.

Spokesman Harry Mitchell added: “Caution needs to be exercised when comparing figures. Norfolk constabulary's figures include costs for all vehicle hire and not just cars.

“This includes cars, vans, mini-buses and motorcycles for frontline and training purposes. The figures are also old - this financial year the constabulary has achieved significant savings in vehicle hire costs as part of its continual review process.

“In April, responsibilities of vehicle hire transferred from district control to a centralised fleet management department.”

Efforts have been made the cut the bill and the forecast expenditure for the current financial year is £430,000 compared to £493,000 last year.

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