Police car crashes cost thousands

New figures have revealed that Scottish police officers are frequently crashing into tree branches, walls and parked cars, leading to vehicle repair bills costing thousands of pounds.

Forces across Scotland said that although hundreds of accidents had taken place since 2008, only a small number were during a 999 response call.

They also reported that the majority of officers escaped without disciplinary action, a fine or suspension.

Northern Constabulary said one officer in August 2008 caused a repair bill of £404 after colliding with a barrier in Inverness.

In July 2008 another officer hit an overhanging branch while reversing in Inverness causing damage of £229 and in March this year a car was a "write-off" after leaving the A9 on a bend.

Forces were asked how many vehicles had been damaged in collisions that have not involved other vehicles or other persons since January 2008 and how much the repairs cost.

Strathclyde Police - Scotland's biggest force - said 1,216 police vehicles were damaged by officers in collisions that did not involve other vehicles or other people between January 1, 2008, and January 25 this year. The repairs cost £721,715.48.

The main cause for damage to the police vehicles was noted as "collision with an object" and 44 had their blue lights on at the time.

Tayside Police said "reversing incidents" was the most common reason given for 133 collisions which didn't involve another vehicle or person between January 1, 2008, and to January 23 this year.

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