Saturday, 2 October 2010

Sussex Police to save cash - and the environment - by getting officers out of their cars and into communities

It seeems  Sussex Police are going to be driving their vans and cars around a little less in coming years.

On Thursday Sussex Police Authority's Resources Scrutiny Committee will consider a proposal to stop replacing police cars - and reduce the total size of the fleet by several hundred vehicles - and its journeys by about 1.5 million miles a year.

This review of the way Sussex Police uses its fleet of vehicles is welcome – and long overdue.

It will save over £2m - cash that can be used to protect jobs in the face of enormous Government cuts, massively reduce the police's fuel bills and exhaust fumes, which will both improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and force officers to get out of their cars and into communities a little more.

It's a classic win-win-win, good for policing, good for the environment, and good for saving jobs in the face of Government police cuts.

Some might worry that with fewer cars the police will be less able to respond quickly to crime - but I think that logic needs to be turned on its head: if fewer cars mean there's more money for saving officers and PCSO jobs from cuts, and they're spending more time out of their cars and in the communities they patrol, there should be less crime in the first place.

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