Police employees have clocked up more than double the miles since they began collaborating with a neighbouring force, new figures have revealed.
A Freedom of Information request submitted by Bedfordshire on Sunday shows that Bedfordshire Police drove 197,695 miles for the year 2011- 12 compared to 84,372 in 2008-9 which is when they began joining units with the Hertfordshire Constabulary.
The travel cost for our force have also shot up in that period.
Between 2008 and 2009 £33,748 was claimed for mileage but last year the force spent £88,154. The biggest rise in mileage sums was between 2010-11 and 2011-12 where travelling expenses increased by a massive £49k.
The largest claim from a department was the Scientific Services with £22,672 in mileage expenses last year. The smallest amount was from the Dog Section in 2010- 11 which claimed £60.
In total the combined mileage claims of both Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire’s forces cost more than £800k since merging units in 2008.
The Labour Party’s candidate for the county’s first Police and Crime Commissioner, Olly Martins, said that other ways of reducing the police’s carbon footprint needed to be looked at, adding: “Overall the collaboration of smaller police forces is a positive thing and it is expected to make savings.
“There is a need to look at ways that these costs and miles can be reduced and a possibility is using more technology to aid this.
“If most of the travelling is for meetings then the option of video conferences should be looked at.
“With the 20 per cent budget cut the government is inflicting, savings need to be addressed and then a look at reducing the carbon footprint will follow.”