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Police Vehicles Allocated to Chief Officer Group

Question

1.) The make, model and specification (full specification from the purchase) of each vehicle allocated to each member of police staff and police officer making up the Chief Officer Group

2.) The cost of purchase for each vehicle and the date of purchase

3.) Confirm or negate whether each vehicle is equipped with emergency lighting and audible equipment

4.) The current police driving qualification (standard / response /advanced) of each member of police staff and officer that makes up Chief Officer Group together with the date that the said member passed their driving qualification or indeed the last date they were reassessed against the requirements of the driving qualification

5.) The most common marked police vehicle currently in use by your force

6.) The cost (average cost if necessary) for the purchase of the most commonly purchased vehicle as per question 5.

 I am conscious that claim may be laid with regards to exemptions being available in respect of my questions relating to costings under Section 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (Commercial Interests). Nonetheless, I would like to reassure you that other forces have provided this information and I would ask that, should you consider applying this exemption, you consider carefully the difference between 'commercial interests' and ‘financial interests' as I do not feel the release of such

information would indeed prejudice any further commercial interests but simply allow your force to be accountable with regards to the expenditure of public finances.

Clarification received 2nd February

With regards to my request made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, some other forces have asked me to clarify point 3 in relation to "emergency lighting and audible equipment". Just for sake of clarity, by this, I am referring to sirens and klaxons whether they be overt or covert.

 

 

Answer

The personal vehicles of ACPO ranked officers are detailed below and form part of their employment package, each contract is individually negotiated.

Car

Car

Cost

Purchase date

Emergency equipment fitted

Make and Model

A

Chief Constable

£22,600

February 2016

Y

Exempt S43

B

DCC

£28,964

December 2015

Y

Exempt S43

C

ACC

£26,154

November  2015

Y

Exempt S43

D

ACC

£20,608

March 2010

Y

Exempt S43

E

ACC

£26,317

On Order

Y

Exempt S43

F

CFO and Director or Resources

£21,250

September 2012

Y

Audi

These cars concern all members of the Chief Officer Group, including one ACC who is currently seconded.

Unfortunately I am unable to disclose the make, model and specification of these vehicles as this information is deemed commercially sensitive. The exemption to this is Car F as the information is already in the public domain.

The exemption applicable to this is section 43 commercial interests.  This is a qualified and prejudice-based exemption and as such a harm and public interest test has been conducted.

Harm in Disclosure

To confirm the make and model of the vehicles would have a negative impact on the Constabulary and the company(s) involved.  Whilst it is expected that the amount we spend on such vehicles would be in the public’s interest and has been disclosed, to reveal the manufacturer that supplied the vehicles would hinder the Constabulary's negotiation position with the Company(s) in question and any alternative companies we may wish to use in the future if there is an expectation to disclose.

Public Interest Test

Considerations Favouring Disclosure

By disclosing this information, could contribute to the quality and accuracy of public debate.

Considerations Favouring Non-Disclosure

As public funds would be expended, it is in the public’s interest that the most competitive negotiations are achieved. For example companies may offer a discounted rate to the public sector, should a private organisation or indeed an alternative public authority establish that they are paying more for the same type of vehicle, the company may no longer be in a position to offer such discounts and room to negotiate is hindered.  Ultimately the public would pay more which would have a negative impact on police resources as less funds would be available for other areas of policing.  This will of course vary from force to force depending on their current arrangements.

Balance Test

In considering the arguments for disclosure or non-disclosure, whilst the value of public debate is recognised, the ability of the Constabulary to further negotiate in the future is in the public’s interest.  This would potentially affect the expenditure of public funds, together with our ability to effectively policy our community. 

In this instance there is a public interest to be accountable with regards to expenditure. To provide the make and model may be interesting to some, however this is different to being in the public interest.

On balance the decision is that the required information will not be disclosed on this occasion. In accordance with the Act, this represents a Refusal Notice for this part of your request.

With regards to question 4 members of staff are not required to undertake additional driver training to enable them to drive standard classes of vehicles, it is accepted that if a member of staff has a valid driving licence for a particular class of vehicle they are permitted to drive the appropriate/relevant force vehicles.  Only those individuals in roles which require an enhanced level of driving standard for example pursuit.

The most common marked car on the fleet is now the Vauxhall Astra 'Response' car, batches of which have been entering service for two years now. The average cost of these cars is £16,319.

FOI Ref: 170/16

Date of Request 26.01.16