Three years of mistakes costs tax payers more than £1 million
10 June 2009

Misfuelling is costing the British police more than £300,000 a year, according to a new report.

Official statistics reveal that over the course of three years, police forces have put the wrong fuel in their cars on 4709 occasions. That's an average of four cars damaged per day, and the mistakes are estimated to cost around £6500 a week. Over the three year test period, that equates to more than £1 million.

London's Metropolitan police force was among the worst offenders, paying £194,212 in damage over three years. In one year the force misfuelled on almost one in every 1000 fills.

The evidence came to light when a group called the TaxPayers' Alliance demanded the information under the Freedom of Information act. It asked 52 forces for the figures, and eight forces rejected the request, and four more didn't respond.

TaxPayers' Alliance chief Matthew Elliott said: "Every car damaged is thousands of pounds diverted away from the fight against crime. One would hope our police were more on the ball."

One police force does appear to have tackled the problem, however.

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Humberside's force has had only one misfuel, at a cost of £51. It has an all-gas fleet.

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