Lancashire Police spent £2m on unmarked cars - second highest in country

Lancashire Police spent £2m on unmarked cars - second highest in country

Lancashire Police spent £2m on unmarked cars - second highest in country

First published in East Lancashire

LANCASHIRE Police spent more than £2million on unmarked police cars over the last three years, including expensive cars for senior officers, it can be revealed.

The force spent the second highest amount in the country, behind only West Midlands Police, figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show.

It has led to calls from the Taxpayers’ Alliance to axe the expensive run-arounds, which it says are for police chiefs and not catching criminals.

More than £600,000 was spent on 76 Vauxhall Corsas between April 2010 and March last year.

But single purchases of luxury cars were also made, including a Mercedes E Class, a BMW X5, and an Audi A6, all of which cost more than £30,000 each.

The Audi A6, which cost £36,538, has a V6 engine and a top speed of 130mph, and can travel for just 28 miles per gallon of fuel.

Other vehicles driven by officers and Lancashire Pol- ice employees included an Audi A3, A4, and A6, and a BMW 1 and a BMW K superbike.

The figures came just weeks after Police and Cr-ime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw asked East Lanc-ashire residents to consider a rise in council tax in a bid to tackle crime.

Crime detection rates in East Lancashire fell last year, with almost two-thirds of crimes reported to police going unsolved, figures showed.

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said the money spent on the cars could have been spent elsewhere.

He said: “The police bud-get should be spent fighting crime, not on performance cars used for nothing more than ferrying police chiefs around.

“Forces need suitable veh-icles for undercover work, but that’s not a reason to buy them for those spen-ding their life behind a desk.Axing flash run-arounds for police chiefs is a simple way to save taxpayers' mon-ey, while protecting front line policing.”

A spokeswoman for Lanc-ashire Police said: “Unm-arked vehicles are used by various departments, incl-uding major crime, CID and road policing.

“The vehicles also include pool cars, and chief officer cars, in addition to those used for covert enforcem-ent and surveillance.”

Comments (29)

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6:12pm Wed 19 Feb 14

Pan-cake says...

Another FOI sourced news 'story', dressed up as professional journalism.
I hardly think Corsas should be considered an expensive runarounds.
Another FOI sourced news 'story', dressed up as professional journalism. I hardly think Corsas should be considered an expensive runarounds. Pan-cake
  • Score: -9

6:17pm Wed 19 Feb 14

golazzo says...

Pan-cake wrote:
Another FOI sourced news 'story', dressed up as professional journalism.
I hardly think Corsas should be considered an expensive runarounds.
Well I certainly would when they came to £600k at the expense of the tax payers.
[quote][p][bold]Pan-cake[/bold] wrote: Another FOI sourced news 'story', dressed up as professional journalism. I hardly think Corsas should be considered an expensive runarounds.[/p][/quote]Well I certainly would when they came to £600k at the expense of the tax payers. golazzo
  • Score: 14

6:23pm Wed 19 Feb 14

glossopkid says...

Is anything going to be done about this wastage of tax payers money? I doubt very much it will.

Seems Muggins is not around to defend our boys in blue!
Is anything going to be done about this wastage of tax payers money? I doubt very much it will. Seems Muggins is not around to defend our boys in blue! glossopkid
  • Score: 2

6:29pm Wed 19 Feb 14

Rich Riley says...

Did the re-porter have hic-cups when wri-ting this?
Did the re-porter have hic-cups when wri-ting this? Rich Riley
  • Score: 6

7:08pm Wed 19 Feb 14

vicn1956 says...

We can't have top officers driving round in average cars like the rest of us!

O other
P peoples
M money
We can't have top officers driving round in average cars like the rest of us! O other P peoples M money vicn1956
  • Score: 6

7:16pm Wed 19 Feb 14

Lord_Lucan says...

Here we go again. police wasting money. They just haven't grasped the economic austerity that the public at large are facing. Our Police Commissioner is proposing to raise the Police precept in our rates and this is where some of it will be wasted. Not acceptable. They need to make cuts like the rest of the public sector..
Here we go again. police wasting money. They just haven't grasped the economic austerity that the public at large are facing. Our Police Commissioner is proposing to raise the Police precept in our rates and this is where some of it will be wasted. Not acceptable. They need to make cuts like the rest of the public sector.. Lord_Lucan
  • Score: 11

7:18pm Wed 19 Feb 14

Lord_Lucan says...

Of course the police need some unmarked cars but they don't need top of the range luxury vehicles. Fat cats.
Of course the police need some unmarked cars but they don't need top of the range luxury vehicles. Fat cats. Lord_Lucan
  • Score: 8

7:31pm Wed 19 Feb 14

shytalk says...

Why can't we comment on the traffic warden who was racially abused?
Why can't we comment on the traffic warden who was racially abused? shytalk
  • Score: 15

7:35pm Wed 19 Feb 14

george gently says...

all them cars and you still can,t get a copper when you need one
all them cars and you still can,t get a copper when you need one george gently
  • Score: 10

7:38pm Wed 19 Feb 14

happycyclist says...

Good. Most police cars should be unmarked, because too many people behave differently towards police officers when they see a police car and they shouldn't. We're all road users and deserve to be treated with respect. If idiots didn't know whether the driver they were abusing was a police officer or not they might just be a bit more careful.
Good. Most police cars should be unmarked, because too many people behave differently towards police officers when they see a police car and they shouldn't. We're all road users and deserve to be treated with respect. If idiots didn't know whether the driver they were abusing was a police officer or not they might just be a bit more careful. happycyclist
  • Score: 0

7:54pm Wed 19 Feb 14

Openminded? says...

happycyclist wrote:
Good. Most police cars should be unmarked, because too many people behave differently towards police officers when they see a police car and they shouldn't. We're all road users and deserve to be treated with respect. If idiots didn't know whether the driver they were abusing was a police officer or not they might just be a bit more careful.
Agreed, just dont understand the E class?
[quote][p][bold]happycyclist[/bold] wrote: Good. Most police cars should be unmarked, because too many people behave differently towards police officers when they see a police car and they shouldn't. We're all road users and deserve to be treated with respect. If idiots didn't know whether the driver they were abusing was a police officer or not they might just be a bit more careful.[/p][/quote]Agreed, just dont understand the E class? Openminded?
  • Score: 4

8:00pm Wed 19 Feb 14

Manuel Hung says...

I'm beginning to wonder if Lancashire Constabulary have done something to offend the Lancashire Lazy Telegraph?

Recent Bobby Bashing articles include fitness tests, crime detection rates & sickness levels. Not one other similar story relating to any other emergency service or public sector department.

Fair enough if savings could be made with cheaper vehicles then they should. But when you get visiting VIP's who expect to be ferried around it top of the range motors who do you think pays for it?

Not only that, this masterpiece of investigative journalism stops with a simple FOI request which produces a sum of 600k.

Lancashire Police arrange courses for officers from other forces to attend. The nature of the course may necessitate the use of unmarked vehicles but the cost of hiring them is paid for by the fees they charge their students and not Lancashire residents.

A little more time researching a story might give a more balanced picture. But then again it would mean putting some effort in and why should they when it's much easier to try and kick up a s-/7 storm?
I'm beginning to wonder if Lancashire Constabulary have done something to offend the Lancashire Lazy Telegraph? Recent Bobby Bashing articles include fitness tests, crime detection rates & sickness levels. Not one other similar story relating to any other emergency service or public sector department. Fair enough if savings could be made with cheaper vehicles then they should. But when you get visiting VIP's who expect to be ferried around it top of the range motors who do you think pays for it? Not only that, this masterpiece of investigative journalism stops with a simple FOI request which produces a sum of 600k. Lancashire Police arrange courses for officers from other forces to attend. The nature of the course may necessitate the use of unmarked vehicles but the cost of hiring them is paid for by the fees they charge their students and not Lancashire residents. A little more time researching a story might give a more balanced picture. But then again it would mean putting some effort in and why should they when it's much easier to try and kick up a s-/7 storm? Manuel Hung
  • Score: -3

9:30pm Wed 19 Feb 14

Lancs - pensioner says...

shytalk wrote:
Why can't we comment on the traffic warden who was racially abused?
I've already asked the LT about freedom of speech, didn't get any answer!!
[quote][p][bold]shytalk[/bold] wrote: Why can't we comment on the traffic warden who was racially abused?[/p][/quote]I've already asked the LT about freedom of speech, didn't get any answer!! Lancs - pensioner
  • Score: 12

10:10pm Wed 19 Feb 14

mmickk says...

shytalk wrote:
Why can't we comment on the traffic warden who was racially abused?
If it had been the other way round the offender would have got 2 years not a slam on the wrist so much for racial equality!
[quote][p][bold]shytalk[/bold] wrote: Why can't we comment on the traffic warden who was racially abused?[/p][/quote]If it had been the other way round the offender would have got 2 years not a slam on the wrist so much for racial equality! mmickk
  • Score: 12

10:21pm Wed 19 Feb 14

mmickk says...

The police must spend a fortune on blue ticker tape. Every crime the LT report on they use ticker tape!!
The police must spend a fortune on blue ticker tape. Every crime the LT report on they use ticker tape!! mmickk
  • Score: 6

10:36pm Wed 19 Feb 14

Plodder laner says...

Look at the 7 series BMW outside the town hall all day.
Look at the 7 series BMW outside the town hall all day. Plodder laner
  • Score: 9

10:48pm Wed 19 Feb 14

fireonthemountain says...

Well as usual happycyclist is correct .

Two stories for you all , good people .

1 - Way back in , I think 1987 , I overtook an unmarked police car on a motorway . I had 95 on the speedo . Got the shock of my life when he suddenly put on blue lights in his radiator grill . Man did I get fined !!

Approx two weeks wages - It was a company car , funnily enough my boss wouldn't pay it for me !! Ouch , never had a point on my licence
since .

My own stupidity - I expect no sympathy .

2 - an idiot decided to pinpoint me for a bit of road rage from him .
Apparantly I hadn't dipped my lights fast enough ( I was driving behind him) ,

Now I am in trouble - he's going to hit me . Big bloke in a bad mood .

This was in Glasgow by the way .

A top-of-the-range Jaguar appeared out of nowhere - no he was behind me ......three enormous Police got out - idiot ended up in a Black-Maria .

So - 10/10 to unmarked Police Cars .

I got what I deserved - and was saved from a beating .

Give The Police whatever tools they need .
Well as usual happycyclist is correct . Two stories for you all , good people . 1 - Way back in , I think 1987 , I overtook an unmarked police car on a motorway . I had 95 on the speedo . Got the shock of my life when he suddenly put on blue lights in his radiator grill . Man did I get fined !! Approx two weeks wages - It was a company car , funnily enough my boss wouldn't pay it for me !! Ouch , never had a point on my licence since . My own stupidity - I expect no sympathy . 2 - an idiot decided to pinpoint me for a bit of road rage from him . Apparantly I hadn't dipped my lights fast enough ( I was driving behind him) , Now I am in trouble - he's going to hit me . Big bloke in a bad mood . This was in Glasgow by the way . A top-of-the-range Jaguar appeared out of nowhere - no he was behind me ......three enormous Police got out - idiot ended up in a Black-Maria . So - 10/10 to unmarked Police Cars . I got what I deserved - and was saved from a beating . Give The Police whatever tools they need . fireonthemountain
  • Score: 4

11:02pm Wed 19 Feb 14

Graham Hartley says...

Jeremy Bentham is rollin' and tumblin', rattlin' and bangin' in his box.
Jeremy Bentham is rollin' and tumblin', rattlin' and bangin' in his box. Graham Hartley
  • Score: 0

11:04pm Wed 19 Feb 14

fireonthemountain says...

OOh - story three !

Almost forgot .

I was driving along the M602 - was overtaken by a VW GTI , driving at
well over 100mph . Yikes ! Moron !

Then an Audi overtook me , doing a speed I can only imagine .
Way , way over a ton . This car had a personalised number-plate by the way .

Yes , you guessed it , coupla miles later the Audi had pulled the VW .

You would never have thought the Audi was an unmarked police car .
Because of the personal number plate .

But it was .

Now that's clever .

Well done to the boys in blue .
OOh - story three ! Almost forgot . I was driving along the M602 - was overtaken by a VW GTI , driving at well over 100mph . Yikes ! Moron ! Then an Audi overtook me , doing a speed I can only imagine . Way , way over a ton . This car had a personalised number-plate by the way . Yes , you guessed it , coupla miles later the Audi had pulled the VW . You would never have thought the Audi was an unmarked police car . Because of the personal number plate . But it was . Now that's clever . Well done to the boys in blue . fireonthemountain
  • Score: 4

11:51pm Wed 19 Feb 14

mrcool says...

Wasn't there a story a few months ago regarding Preston police officers using a loophole to bag some cars at discount prices for themselves? I wonder if the fiddle is spreading?
Wasn't there a story a few months ago regarding Preston police officers using a loophole to bag some cars at discount prices for themselves? I wonder if the fiddle is spreading? mrcool
  • Score: 9

12:33am Thu 20 Feb 14

Sogden says...

Allegedly BMW had the lowest bid for the current tender of "panda" cars, beating the price of Hyundai i30 vs 1series (including maintenance). They chose Hyundai to make the public think they were spending less. Or public perception as they call it
Allegedly BMW had the lowest bid for the current tender of "panda" cars, beating the price of Hyundai i30 vs 1series (including maintenance). They chose Hyundai to make the public think they were spending less. Or public perception as they call it Sogden
  • Score: 6

8:18am Thu 20 Feb 14

A Darener says...

No problem with traffic cops having powerful unmarked cars. The problem is with fat cat senior officers having luxury cars to transport them from home to office and their meals out at rate payers expense.
I thought the police commissioners job was to improve the police force? Not feather nest it!
No problem with traffic cops having powerful unmarked cars. The problem is with fat cat senior officers having luxury cars to transport them from home to office and their meals out at rate payers expense. I thought the police commissioners job was to improve the police force? Not feather nest it! A Darener
  • Score: 11

9:27am Thu 20 Feb 14

HarryBosch says...

In my opinion, it's all very well LT using FOI requests in order to formulate stories to fill column inches, but they need to keep in mind that the Police are fighting the war on crime. And, as in any war, there are two sides. It won't matter too much for the low level crims, but you start giving away too much information and the more serious organised crime gangs might well be able to use that information to their own advantage.
Just a cautionary note LT, be careful what information you share with the enemy!
In my opinion, it's all very well LT using FOI requests in order to formulate stories to fill column inches, but they need to keep in mind that the Police are fighting the war on crime. And, as in any war, there are two sides. It won't matter too much for the low level crims, but you start giving away too much information and the more serious organised crime gangs might well be able to use that information to their own advantage. Just a cautionary note LT, be careful what information you share with the enemy! HarryBosch
  • Score: 0

9:59am Thu 20 Feb 14

Lord_Lucan says...

You get too many fat ex police officers who were able to retire at 50 on their excessively generous final salary pensions writing positive comments about the police on all of these LT FOI stories. Keep them coming LT the public need to know and police forces need to be reformed and become better value.
You get too many fat ex police officers who were able to retire at 50 on their excessively generous final salary pensions writing positive comments about the police on all of these LT FOI stories. Keep them coming LT the public need to know and police forces need to be reformed and become better value. Lord_Lucan
  • Score: 0

11:30am Thu 20 Feb 14

rudis_dad says...

Lord_Lucan wrote:
Here we go again. police wasting money. They just haven't grasped the economic austerity that the public at large are facing. Our Police Commissioner is proposing to raise the Police precept in our rates and this is where some of it will be wasted. Not acceptable. They need to make cuts like the rest of the public sector..
And you'll be the one whinging and screaming like a big girl when there isn't a police officer to be found, I suppose? Typical lefty-liberal nonsense.
[quote][p][bold]Lord_Lucan[/bold] wrote: Here we go again. police wasting money. They just haven't grasped the economic austerity that the public at large are facing. Our Police Commissioner is proposing to raise the Police precept in our rates and this is where some of it will be wasted. Not acceptable. They need to make cuts like the rest of the public sector..[/p][/quote]And you'll be the one whinging and screaming like a big girl when there isn't a police officer to be found, I suppose? Typical lefty-liberal nonsense. rudis_dad
  • Score: -3

12:26pm Thu 20 Feb 14

mmickk says...

Plodder laner wrote:
Look at the 7 series BMW outside the town hall all day.
And that is for the a benefit fraudster!
[quote][p][bold]Plodder laner[/bold] wrote: Look at the 7 series BMW outside the town hall all day.[/p][/quote]And that is for the a benefit fraudster! mmickk
  • Score: 0

7:02pm Thu 20 Feb 14

fireonthemountain says...

Well - as stated above , I am certainly in favour of unmarked police
vehicles , many and varied .

I have however , to applaud a comment in one of today's newspapers .

Where someone stated that the best motoring aid fitted to a car,
an absolutely guarantee of careful and safe driving , is in fact ,
the rear view mirror .

With a marked Police Car in it .
Well - as stated above , I am certainly in favour of unmarked police vehicles , many and varied . I have however , to applaud a comment in one of today's newspapers . Where someone stated that the best motoring aid fitted to a car, an absolutely guarantee of careful and safe driving , is in fact , the rear view mirror . With a marked Police Car in it . fireonthemountain
  • Score: 0

11:39pm Thu 20 Feb 14

Graham Hartley says...

Lord_Lucan wrote:
You get too many fat ex police officers who were able to retire at 50 on their excessively generous final salary pensions writing positive comments about the police on all of these LT FOI stories. Keep them coming LT the public need to know and police forces need to be reformed and become better value.
At 50? At 48, with thirty years of service from the age of eighteen. I agree that the pension is excessively generous, though the pensioners have made 'generous' contributions from their pay. Yet the pay can be regarded as excessively generous, if you like, and so capable of absorbing such charges against the future. Many do like.

I confess that I am among those who benefit from such an excessively generous occupational pension, if anyone here cares a jot.
[quote][p][bold]Lord_Lucan[/bold] wrote: You get too many fat ex police officers who were able to retire at 50 on their excessively generous final salary pensions writing positive comments about the police on all of these LT FOI stories. Keep them coming LT the public need to know and police forces need to be reformed and become better value.[/p][/quote]At 50? At 48, with thirty years of service from the age of eighteen. I agree that the pension is excessively generous, though the pensioners have made 'generous' contributions from their pay. Yet the pay can be regarded as excessively generous, if you like, and so capable of absorbing such charges against the future. Many do like. I confess that I am among those who benefit from such an excessively generous occupational pension, if anyone here cares a jot. Graham Hartley
  • Score: 0

1:53pm Fri 21 Feb 14

Graham Hartley says...

fireonthemountain wrote:
Well as usual happycyclist is correct .

Two stories for you all , good people .

1 - Way back in , I think 1987 , I overtook an unmarked police car on a motorway . I had 95 on the speedo . Got the shock of my life when he suddenly put on blue lights in his radiator grill . Man did I get fined !!

Approx two weeks wages - It was a company car , funnily enough my boss wouldn't pay it for me !! Ouch , never had a point on my licence
since .

My own stupidity - I expect no sympathy .

2 - an idiot decided to pinpoint me for a bit of road rage from him .
Apparantly I hadn't dipped my lights fast enough ( I was driving behind him) ,

Now I am in trouble - he's going to hit me . Big bloke in a bad mood .

This was in Glasgow by the way .

A top-of-the-range Jaguar appeared out of nowhere - no he was behind me ......three enormous Police got out - idiot ended up in a Black-Maria .

So - 10/10 to unmarked Police Cars .

I got what I deserved - and was saved from a beating .

Give The Police whatever tools they need .
Thanks for the stories.

But 'give the police whatever tools they need'? Officers are pretty well tooled up, though few have guns. If the police tell us they all need guns, should we give without question? Some 130,000 officers would ideally be trained to the same skill level as the present 6.000 or so.
[quote][p][bold]fireonthemountain[/bold] wrote: Well as usual happycyclist is correct . Two stories for you all , good people . 1 - Way back in , I think 1987 , I overtook an unmarked police car on a motorway . I had 95 on the speedo . Got the shock of my life when he suddenly put on blue lights in his radiator grill . Man did I get fined !! Approx two weeks wages - It was a company car , funnily enough my boss wouldn't pay it for me !! Ouch , never had a point on my licence since . My own stupidity - I expect no sympathy . 2 - an idiot decided to pinpoint me for a bit of road rage from him . Apparantly I hadn't dipped my lights fast enough ( I was driving behind him) , Now I am in trouble - he's going to hit me . Big bloke in a bad mood . This was in Glasgow by the way . A top-of-the-range Jaguar appeared out of nowhere - no he was behind me ......three enormous Police got out - idiot ended up in a Black-Maria . So - 10/10 to unmarked Police Cars . I got what I deserved - and was saved from a beating . Give The Police whatever tools they need .[/p][/quote]Thanks for the stories. But 'give the police whatever tools they need'? Officers are pretty well tooled up, though few have guns. If the police tell us they all need guns, should we give without question? Some 130,000 officers would ideally be trained to the same skill level as the present 6.000 or so. Graham Hartley
  • Score: 0

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