West Yorkshire Police officers were to blame for 400 crashes on the county’s roads last year - costing the force £240,000 in repairs to its vehicles.
The force has spent £1,219,246 on ‘blameworthy repairs’, including road crashes, reversing into bollards and other incidents causing damage to its cars, in the last four years, new figures have revealed.
Bosses say they have cut the number of such collisions from 670 in 2009/10 to 400 in 2012/13 by installing data recorders in cars, providing extra training and increasing the number of driver reviews it carries out.
Responses received under the Freedom of Information Act show that in the last financial year North Yorkshire officers were to blame for 171 crashes, while Humberside Police saw 129 ‘blameworthy collisions’ and South Yorkshire Police 49. West Yorkshire Police said its 400 blameworthy incidents last year, and total of 1,918 over four years, were “not necessarily all collisions”.
It said: “The total therefore includes incidents such as slow speed reversing into bollards in police stations / damage caused whilst manoeuvring or reversing on private premises etc.”
Ned Liddemore, of West Yorkshire’s Police Federation, said: “These incidents have been coming down for the last four years or so and quite significantly, the amount of money is costs has been reducing.
“They have purchased a data recovery system for use in police vehicles, that has been rolled out steadily, it records all the data, such as speed, braking, everything else. Our officers have nothing to hide and they are trying to do a difficult job.”
West Yorkshire Police spokesman said training had been improved in the last two years and that every incident was “recorded and scrutinised by senior managers”. The frequency of driving reviews for officers has also increased.
A spokesman said: “By regularly assessing our processes and practices, we aim to further reduce these figures and the subsequent costs of repairs.”