Police car repair bill tops $11 million in five years

A total of 5079 cars were damaged over the past five years to a total cost of $11.4m. Photo / File
A total of 5079 cars were damaged over the past five years to a total cost of $11.4m. Photo / File

New Zealand Police have spent more than $11 million in five years on their damaged fleet.

Each year, from 2011 to 2015 inclusive, on average, around a thousand were damaged in car accidents or through acts of deliberate sabotage.

A total of 5079 cars were damaged over the past five years - 134 were written off completely - to a total cost of $11.4m.

Every year more than $2m was spent fixing up the police fleet.

In 2015 the fleet saw the most damaged cars, 1109, compared to 1047 in 2014, 950 in 2013, 929 in 2012 and 1044 in 2011.

However, the most costly year for the force was 2014 which saw the repair bill reach a total of $2.5m, compared to 2015's $2.4m bill.

A police spokesperson said ideally the number of crashes its fleet was involved in would be zero.

But he said, the reality was they worked in a "dynamic and at times high-risk environment" which means crashes were inevitable from time to time.

"The reality is that we police work in a dynamic and at times high-risk environment, which means that there will inevitably be occasions when crashes will occur.

"As noticed in the data this can happen either though the deliberate actions of others, or through crashes and other incidents that occur in the course of police staff doing their duties."

The spokesperson said given police had more than 3000 vehicles on the road, with staff working 24/7 and clocking up more than 90 million kilometres annually in a range of conditions they had a "generally excellent safety record".

"Police officers are also trained to drive to a very high standard in often difficult and stressful situations.

"We are always evaluating and adapting our driver training programme to ensure we maximise public safety, while balancing the need to respond to crime and crashes to keep our communities safe."

Cars written off

2011: 20

2012: 22

2013: 23

2014: 37

2015: 32

Total damages in five years

• 5079 cars

• $11.4m spent

- NZ Herald

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