Today, it was revealed that the North Yorkshire Police spent more than a quarter of a million pounds on car hire last year. Confirmed by the force, the £267,649.56 was spent between April 2017 and February this year, all spent with Enterprise-Rent-a-Car. Whilst the sum did cover vehicle fuel, hire and lease services supplied by Enterprise-Rent-a-Car, the force has been criticised for this level of spending. When putting into perspective that the same amount would cover the annual wage of 13 new frontline PCs, it is easy to see why.
Defending the fee, a spokesperson said that the cars were however used across the force. These included departments such as financial, custody, major incident, neighbourhood policing and response teams and many more.
It is also worth noting that these rental cars were in addition to the Police-owned fleet.
“We own a fleet of around 500 vehicles, including a pool car fleet of about 20 vehicles. Hire cars supplement this for one-off daily rentals or short periods when it wouldn’t be cost-effective to own and run a vehicle.
“For example, hire cars can be a cost-effective way to allow staff to attend training courses, or to be redeployed to another location on a temporary basis for operational reasons” the spokesperson said.
Good value for money?
Where many have taken to the internet to pass comment on the eye-watering nature of the sum, Police and Crime Commissioner, Julia Mulligan, said she was reassured that the quarter of a million pounds worth of invoices represented good value for money.
Although seeing an increase in costs, she said it was “in large part related to Operation Kingfisher in Kirby Misperton”. This refers to £700,000 that was spent managing protests carried out at a fracking site.
She said: “General use of hire cars has also gone up, but that doesn’t necessarily mean bad value for money.
“As we constantly scrutinise efficiency and effectiveness however, I will ask the relevant people to ensure the right controls are in place before vehicles are hired and push for costs to be reduced wherever possible.”
So, let us know your thoughts, is a quarter of a million pounds a little excessive?