Police vehicles live a rough life as they’re used in everything from high-speed chases to mundane traffic stops.
According to the BBC, police in Wales spent over £3.5 ($4.7) million to repair police vehicles over the past four years. Over the course of this time period, police vehicles were involved in 4,214 incidents and a number of these involved basic mistakes such as hitting objects when reversing.
The South Wales Police were responsible for most of the damage as the force totaled 27 vehicles and had repair costs in excess of £2.6 ($3.4) million. Assistant Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan told the BBC “Our drivers are highly skilled and every care is taken with the force’s vehicles, however, it is inevitable that some will be damaged in the course of duty.” He added the force responds to over a million calls every year and noted their vehicles rack up 12 million miles (19.3 million km) annually.
North Wales Police had 1,339 incidents over four year and this resulted in repair costs of £442,776 ($595,383). While the number of incidents sounds high, the force said approximately half of these incidents didn’t involve damage and only required a minor safety check.
The bill doesn’t sound too outrageous but James Price, the campaign manager of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, told the BBC “The police are constantly asking for more money, but clearly they have been wasting our cash by driving recklessly and not respecting the equipment that taxpayers have funded.”