Bumps and bashes cost police force

SUFFOLK police's car insurance premium has topped more than £250,000 it emerged today.The figure came out after it was revealed by the constabulary that accidents and incidents have caused more than £185,000 of damage to police vehicles in the last year.

SUFFOLK police's car insurance premium has topped more than £250,000 it emerged today.

The figure came out after it was revealed by the constabulary that accidents and incidents have caused more than £185,000 of damage to police vehicles in the last year.

Fifty-five of the accidents where police were at fault - and a third party was affected - cost at total of £75,754.05.

A further 117 bashes cost £72,449.91, although one incident is still unresolved. These were deemed to be self-inflicted and categorised as 'own damage'.

The collisions made a hefty dent in the constabulary's insurance policy with the total value of the resolved claims running at £185,078.36.

The largest individual incident cost £18,370 and was a result of damage caused by police staff.

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The second most expensive claim was £16,108 in which police were judged to be at fault where a third party was involved.

The figures were released after a Freedom of Information request by The Evening Star.

Kate Tindle, a spokeswoman for Suffolk Constabulary, said: “Suffolk Police has approximately 450 vehicles, which between July 2006 and July 2007 covered over seven and a half million miles.

“Many of these vehicles are operational and the very nature of our work means that they are more susceptible to damage.

“Safety is of paramount importance and all staff are reminded of their duty of care and given guidance on the use of vehicles, plus police officers who drive a Constabulary vehicle are given training by experienced instructors.

“If an incident occurs, it is recorded and fully investigated.”

“Current insurance costs for police vehicles - policy from between October 1, 2006 and September 30, 2007 - is £260,123.06.”

Other reasons for claims on the force's insurance policy were:

N 12 incidents of criminal damage - £2,292.54

N 44 incidents where damage has been discovered (including vandalism and unreported damage) - £8,095.93

N 22 incidents of where the driver has hit their own vehicle or been hit by another police vehicle - £3,706.71

N Nine incidents where the blame was shared between a third party and police - £5,237.53

N 60 incidents where a third party was at fault - £6,453.14

N 75 damaged windscreens - £11,088.55

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