Cost of police crashes on rise

Supt Shaun Donnellan
Supt Shaun Donnellan

COSTS for crashes and collisions involving Wigan’s police vehicles are revealed today for the first time.

The total amount in damages paid out by Greater Manchester Police to third parties in motor claims against the force between 2009 and 2013 is almost five and a half times more than those recovered from the insurers of civilian drivers.

Force solicitors for the borough’s L Division cost almost £150,000, while the amount recovered by GMP where the third party driver was partly at fault for the accident causing damage to the police vehicles - there are 52 cars and vans in operation across Wigan and Leigh - was £27,553.

GMP’s Legal Services and Fleet Services say they don’t hold accurate information about the number of complete insurance write-offs to police vehicles during this period.

Nor how many crashes there have been in the busy car park at the Wigan headquarters in Robin Park Road.

But they have confirmed that there have been 22 motor claims involving an injury element received against the force from both police officers and staff themselves and civilians during this period.

The cost of repairing police vehicles involved in accidents during duty has risen.

During 2012/13 the cost to L Division was £19,201 ... but this rose to £24,570 for 2013/14.

The costs were revealed in a Freedom of Information request made by the Wigan Evening Post.

But Wigan’s borough commander revealed that the cost of repairs to Wigan Division vehicles was “slightly lower” than predicted.

Chief Supt Shaun Donnellan said: “The borough covers 77 square miles, which means our officers and staff need to drive many more miles in a shift than colleagues nearer the city, and this inevitably means more wear and tear and more accidents.

“Driver standards are regularly reviewed and where appropriate refresher training is provided.”