Force's fuel blunders prove costly

Vehicle damage amounting to almost £10,000 has been caused in the past eight months by Suffolk Police officers, as a result of several mistakes involving fuel.

According to a spokeswoman, the officers have managed to put petrol into diesel cars, or vice versa, 15 times since April at a cost of £1,606.

They have repeated the blunder over 60 times in the past five years, forking out £9,127 to repair the vehicles.

In 2006/07 the cost of rectifying vehicles was £2,857 after 19 mistakes were made.

The spokeswoman said: "Suffolk Constabulary's transport services department do all they can to prevent this from occurring. Over the last 36 months, coloured discs labelling what fuel each vehicle takes have been fitted over the fuel caps of every vehicle in our fleet.

"The disc has to be moved out of the way before the fuel cap can be removed and the fuel pump nozzle inserted. While the discs are not foolproof they are a very low-cost preventative measure and have generally been effective in reducing the number of mis-fuelling incidents."

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