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