Police officers have cost UK forces £390,061 by topping up cars with the wrong fuel in the last five years. That’s according to a new investigation that said there have been 2,147 police misfuelling incidents since 2011. This means more than one officer a day tops up his squad car with the wrong fuel type!
Automotive magazine and website, AutoExpress, issued a freedom of information request to forces around the country asking for details of fuel-pump fumbles made by officers.
The collective cost of just over £390k means each wrong-fuel top-up costs an average of £181,68 to drain and rectify the police vehicle.
The FOI request also found that the police spent a total of £378 million on fuel over the same five-year time frame – it means £1 is spent on repairing a misfulled police motor for every £970 forked out on diesel and petrol.
The biggest repair bill was issued to the Metropolitan Police, AutoExpress said. However, with an almighty fleet of vehicles guzzling £64.6 million of petrol and diesel since 2011, this isn’t much of surprise. When you take fuel spent into account, the worst offender was Warwickshire – it spent £1 on misfuelling repairs for every £331.99 handed over to brim its cars.
But not all police forces have made the mistake, thanks to a little help from technology.
Both Greater Manchester Police and Northern Ireland forces have bunkered fuel sites with pre-programmed keys to ensure the correct type of fuel is dispensed.
AA spokesman Luke Bosdet told AutoExpress that misfuelled police cars represent a mere fraction of the 150,000 cases a year.
He said: ‘It’s an annoying and avoidable mistake that will take a vehicle off the road and place an extra burden on stretched resources.
‘But it shows that police officers are human like the rest of us.
‘Stress and pre-occupied minds are often the cause of misfuelling mistakes, which fleet managers can try to beat with fuel-tank labelling and reminders.’