Police reviewing their parking policy

SUFFOLK police are today reviewing their parking policy after it emerged the force spends £49,500 per year leasing spaces at an Ipswich car park.The Constabulary rents 75 spaces at a town centre car park which are used by officers working out of the Elm Street police station.

SUFFOLK police are today reviewing their parking policy after it emerged the force spends £49,500 per year leasing spaces at an Ipswich car park.

The Constabulary rents 75 spaces at a town centre car park which are used by officers working out of the Elm Street police station.

Simon Stevens, spokesman for Suffolk police, said leasing spaces was necessary as there was little room to park at the force's Ipswich base.

But, at a meeting of Suffolk Police Authority, concerns were raised over whether the spaces were good value for money.

Mr Stevens said the matter had arisen as the authority conducted a review of finances prior to budget discussions for the coming year.

He said: “We are continually reviewing our estate facilities to ensure they meet the needs of modern policing.

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“A report about this matter will be considered by the Police Authority's Human Resources and Liaison Committee on June 9.”

He said the spaces were rented seven days a week, which worked out at a cost of £1.81 per space per day.

Speaking at a budget meeting of the authority, chief constable Alistair McWhirter said the spaces were needed due to shift patterns and for health and safety reasons.

Officers work over 24 hours and public transport is not always available at the beginning and end of shifts.

The use of spaces at the town centre car park is said to be the cheapest option identified to date and has been standard practice for several years.

The Constabulary has considered charging staff but it is not yet clear whether his will go ahead.

A report into the matter is likely to consider comparisons with other forces as well as possible collaboration with partners.

The location of the car park cannot be revealed for security reasons.

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