Police insurance bill nears �150,000

CRASHES, smashes, prangs and bangs caused police to claim �145,000 on its motor insurance in a year, it emerged today.The county's constabulary revealed its cars, motorbikes, lorries and vans were involved in accidents at a rate of nearly one a day over the 12-month period.

CRASHES, smashes, prangs and bangs caused police to claim �145,000 on its motor insurance in a year, it emerged today.

The county's constabulary revealed its cars, motorbikes, lorries and vans were involved in accidents at a rate of nearly one a day over the 12-month period.

From April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009, the force had to make 355 claims on its insurance policy.

The cost of repairs, recovery and personal injury claims for its staff and other motorists totalled �145,207, according to police figures.


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A total of �116,578 in damage was caused to the constabulary's vehicles, while �14,097 was incurred in third party repairs.

A further �24,344 was spent on hire vehicles, legal costs and personal injury claims for third parties.

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Despite the amounts claimed, the payouts were almost less than half of the amount spent on the force's motor insurance policy.

Last year its 452 vehicles cost �281,369.72 to insure.

The distance police officers and civilian staff cover in the course of the year is the equivalent of travelling to the moon and back 10 times.

Kate Rutsch, a spokeswoman, said: “The force has more than 450 vehicles and every year police officers and staff will travel over seven million miles.

“The nature of policing means there are occasions when vehicles will be damaged; the vast majority of incidents are minor such as damage to a windscreen or even criminal damage to a car.

“However, we would like to reassure people in Suffolk that the safety of the public is our priority at all times.

“Any officers involved in emergency response or pursuit situations are highly trained in full accordance with national Police driver training guidelines.

“The utmost is done to minimise any risk; for instance, the police helicopter may be used to assist in bringing a pursuit to a safe conclusion.

“Officers are very aware that they must not take unnecessary risks, both for their own safety and that of the public.

“Any road collision involving a police vehicle, even if it is minor, is taken extremely seriously and is always fully investigated.”

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