• Jun 9, 2009
British police have an expensive problem. It's not crime and it isn't corruption, it's much worse. The £1 million problem is stupidity. Over the course of three years, UK cops have on 4,709 occasions put the wrong fuel in their police cruisers. That's an average of four cars damaged per day, with damages of £6,500 a week. That's more than $1.6 million USD. Blimey.

Each time the wrong fuel is added, the very expensive fuel has to be drained, and in many cases engines have to be repaired. According to the Mirror, one force, The Met, had four times as expensive a problem as any other group, with £194,212 in damage ($316k USD) over three years. In one year alone, the pump-challenged bunch had 287 erroneous re-fuels from its 6,500 unit fleet at a taxpayer cost of £84,992 ($138k USD). That's a mis-fuel rate of .09%.

A group called TaxPayers' Alliance demanded fueling info under the Freedom of Information act from 52 forces in the UK. Eight forces rejected the request, and four more didn't respond. The public action group pored over data over a four month period to come up with the staggering sum of bungled fill-ups.

TaxPayers' Alliance chief Matthew Elliott doesn't mince words when talking about the size and scope of the fuel problem. "Every car damaged is thousands of pounds diverted away from the fight against crime. One would hope our police were more on the ball." One would hope.

To combat the expensive fuel mix-up issue, North Wales placed yellow stickers labeled 'DIESEL' back in 2006, but that didn't stop officers from pumping petrol on 39 different occasions. Many forces have stated that they've tried many things to combat the problem, but apparently only one solution has worked. Humberside has had only one mis-fuel, at a cost of £51. They have an all-gas fleet, which they say saves £250,000 a year. Hmmm....

[Source: U.K. Mirror]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 29 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Maybe they thought that Parliament would guide them to it, but it's good their Government is so great at keeping tabs on everyone and what they do!

      Oh, those silly Brits.
      • 5 Years Ago
      /puts spelling/grammar pants on

      They *pored* over the data, not poured.
      • 5 Years Ago
      so no one over there in that part of the world has heard of "you break it, you buy it"?

      • 5 Years Ago
      "the pump-challenged bunch had 287 erroneous re-fuels from its 6,500 unit fleet at a taxpayer cost of £84,992 ($138k USD). That's a mis-fuel rate of .09%."

      I'm a liberal arts guy so I could well be wrong, but isn't that over 4%? (Also, a percentage of what? It's not really a rate because it's versus the fleet number, not the number of refuelings...but we'll take baby steps here.)

      I like blogs, but they often reinforce the argument that not everyone is qualified to write for a wide audience...let's keep improving, Autoblog.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Over 4% would be assuming each fleet vehicle was only filled up once.


      • 5 Years Ago
      Simple. Fine and Fire the Effer that puts the wrong fuel in the tank. End of problem.

      This is clearly a passive-aggressive issue with the police officers. If an all-gas force doesn't have problems with diesel being put in cars, then the issue is purposeful sabotage of government vehicles.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Crazy rozzers...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Maybe they could fine the officers whenever they do this.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Makes me wonder that if they can't tell what type of fuel goes in a vehicle (even when there's a bright yellow sticker indicating which), how are they able to actually enforce the law?
        • 5 Years Ago
        "North Wales placed yellow stickers labeled 'DIESEL' back in 2006"

        Right there?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Where the hell is there a bright yellow sticker?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why are the taxpayers paying for this? Shouldn't this come out of the paycheck of the officers who damaged a taxpayers vehicle?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I guess that's why they don't get guns.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I bet if you knew any mistakes regarding the miss fueling of a police vehicle would come out of your pocket, people would have MUCH fewer mistakes. How can you expect citizens to have the good faith that you are enforcing the laws correctly and fairly when you can even fuel up a damn car right.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's because they keep looking through the store window at the donut rack.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That would be the scone rack actually.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I believe there's a sign on every car's tank cap or the back of the outer flap. Usually a color code. More importantly, nozzles are color-coded - green = petrol, black = diesel. Nozzles are in corresponding colors

      So unless they're IQ-challenged....

      See, in Europe, each stand has several hoses and nozzles - one for every kind of fuel to prevent mixing.

      Typically, your'd have one for diesel, one for 95 octance, enhanced 95 (Shell V-power etc), one for 98 or 100 octane gas (often red), and, sometimes for enhanced diesel.

      http://www.freefoto.com/images/21/34/21_34_68---French-Petrol-Station_web.jpg

      It's standard all over Europe.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Are the police in the U.K. allowed to drink alcohol while on duty?
    • Load More Comments