Fuel costs hitting police in the pocket

RISING fuel costs have left police chiefs in Essex needing to find more than £800,000 to run their fleet of vehicles, it has emerged.

RISING fuel costs have left police chiefs in Essex needing to find more than £800,000 to run their fleet of vehicles, it has emerged.

The claims come after fears were raised that some of the country's vital emergency services could be mothballed because of the soaring price of petrol.

And Essex County Fire and Rescue Service has also confirmed it has been closely monitoring the situation because of the steep increases over the past 12 months.

It has been estimated that the hikes at the pumps are costing Essex Police an extra £2,000 a day.


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The huge increase in the petrol and diesel prices means that if its fleet of 875 vehicles - from horseboxes to 150mph intercept cars - use the same amount of fuel as last year it will cost £835,000 more - the equivalent of paying the annual wages of an extra 200 police officers.

Essex police cover 14.3 million miles a year on routine patrols, answering emergency calls, providing escorts and specialist services such as dog units and scenes of crime teams, as well as mileage covered by detectives.

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The extra money will have to be found from its budget but it is understood there are concerns more money may not be made available from central Government, forcing bosses to make cash-saving cutbacks in the service.

A spokeswoman for Essex Police said: “Fuel costs have risen significantly in recent months, but the people of Essex can be assured that our emergency response operations and day-to-day routine policing will not be affected.”

Mark Jones, deputy chief fire officer, said: “Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, like every other business involved in regularly moving vehicles around the county's roads, will be impacted by rising fuel costs.

“We are currently reviewing our position in this regard but I would like to reassure the public that nothing will prevent us from continuing to deliver our front-line emergency services to keep our communities safe.”

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