And the overall repair bill for these mistakes was over £50,000!
According to information released following a Freedom of Information request, UK police filled up their cars with the wrong type of fuel almost 300 times in 2017 and the overall cost in repairs for these mistakes was over £50,000!
From the 45 police forces across the UK, an alarming 33 confessed to paying out for repairs on a police vehicle because of a misfuelling error in 2017, with the cost each time coming in at around £178.
These figures have been described by the Taxpayers’ Alliance as ‘staggering’.
In total, 299 episodes of misfuelling were recorded, costing £53,337.
The force who recorded the most episodes of misfuelling were West Midlands Police with 66, costing in total £3,737, whilst the Met Police recorded 49 incidents but the cost for repairs was much greater at £17,589.57.
Police Scotland reported 16 such incidents at a cost of £2004.92.
“It’s staggering that such a simple mistake is being made almost daily,” said John O’Connell, chief executive of pressure group the Taxpayers’ Alliance, adding: “This careless attitude shows a lack of respect for those same taxpayers who both pay their wages and are forced to pay for the repairs”.
The number of misfuels back in 2013-14 hit a major spike and as a result all vehicles were labelled with the fuel type to inform the driver as to what fuel should be used, as well as informing users and local vehicle leads of the huge costs involved following such mistakes.
So far, there’s been a 53% reduction in the number of misfuelling incidents, leading to a 90% reduction in repair costs.
Staff are sent reminders regularly and this continues to have a positive impact on reducing the number of incidents.
According to a Met spokesman, since 2008 its vehicles had been refuelled 1.5 million times and errors were ‘a tiny proportion of total refuelling.’
“The MPS operates a mixed fleet of both petrol and diesel vehicles with a gradual move towards more petrol, hybrid and electric vehicles. Overall, the misfuelling rate is decreasing year on year,” added their spokesman.
It’s believed by some motoring organisations that the issue will be totally eradicated when UK police forces turn to using more electric vehicles but until then there will still be misfuelling incidents occurring each year.
“The misfuelling of police vehicles is relatively rare, especially when you consider that forces have thousands of vehicles which are in constant use and require frequent refuelling,” said a spokesman for the National Police Chiefs’ Council.
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