The Daily Telegraph

One in seven Scottish police car accidents happens at the station

- By Mark Macaskill Scottish correspond­ent

ALMOST one in seven accidents involving Scottish police vehicles happened in station car parks, it has emerged.

Data released by Police Scotland reveals 127 incidents were logged in police station car parks over 13 months.

The figures have been highlighte­d in an internal newsletter which urges officers to take “extra care” behind the wheel of force vehicles and suggests that many of the accidents on police premises were owing to careless driving.

The data show that between July 1 2022 and July 31 2023, 966 accidents involving police vehicles were reported to fleet management. The document states: “Did you know that 127 of these accidents occurred within police parking areas? Approximat­ely 13 per cent of damaged vehicles hadn’t even left the station. Please ensure you take extra care.”

Car accidents cost the force more than £778,000, although it is revealed this figure “is likely to increase as many repairs from this period are still ongoing”. The Scottish Police Federation admitted that station car parks can be “tight” but warned the prangs point to a wider problem. Most new recruits only receive a one-day driver training course.

The newsletter asks officers if they are “fit to drive” and reveals how one was photograph­ed by a member of the public and reported after falling asleep at traffic lights. The officer blamed over-the-counter pain medication.

Police drivers have been urged to undertake a series of daily checks of their vehicles and told they “must drive in accordance with their level of training”.

The newsletter highlights that drivers “frequently come to the attention of Driver Training for exceeding speed limits or using blue lights and sirens when they have no legal authority to do so”.

One officer was charged with Section 2 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 for persistent­ly driving with blue lights and sirens and exceeding the speed limit. The officer was fined £950 and got six penalty points.

A Police Scotland spokespers­on said: “The vast majority of officers and staff conduct themselves in line with our values. When someone fails to meet this standard we take appropriat­e action.”

‘Approximat­ely 13 per cent of damaged vehicles hadn’t even left the station. Please ensure you take extra care’

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