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06-22-08, 08:07 PM #1
Police cut frontline jobs to save on fuel costs
Police are forced to cut frontline jobs to save on fuel cost
Frontline emergency services are being cut to cover the soaring cost of fuel.
Rising prices have already driven one police force to reduce recruitment, and last night there were warnings that the problem will escalate across Britain in the coming weeks.
A senior official at the Police Federation, which represents 140,000 rank-and-file officers, said: ‘All the fat has already been trimmed off police budgets.
Shortfall: Forces are having to reevaluate their budgets in the face of mounting fuel costs which have already seen Hampshire Police cut recruitment
'For a lot of forces, there is nothing left to cut except officer numbers.’
A survey by The Mail on Sunday has revealed that:
• The Metropolitan Police, whose fuel bill has jumped by £1.5million, has ordered patrols to seek out the cheapest local petrol stations.
• Fuel price hikes have left Suffolk Police with an unexpected £500,000 black hole
in its budget, which will have to be filled by cuts in services.
• Derbyshire Police may shelve recruitment of Community Support Officers.
• South Central Ambulance Service, which covers Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hampshire, is reviewing spending on staffing and equipment after the cost of filling up an ambulance jumped from £87 a year ago to £117 now.
• The Fire Brigades Union is calling for the Government to provide emergency financial assistance to help meet rocketing fuel bills.
The first sign of the deepening crisis came from Hampshire, where police are taking on 80 fewer trainee officers than planned this year because of a predicted £1million budget shortfall caused largely by the extra cost of fuel for its 1,000 vehicles.
The force, which has 4,000 officers, had planned to spend £2million this year on training and paying a new batch of recruits.
But now it has had to reallocate some of that money to cover a 12.5 per cent increase in petrol prices since January.
Hampshire Police’s director of finance, Michael Coombes, said: ‘If the cost of fuel rises to £1.50 a litre by the end of the summer, we would be facing a shortfall of about £1million.
'This year we will recruit fewer student officers than in recent years.
'This is in light of various budget pressures of which the rising cost of fuel is one.’
The Government’s refusal to cut duty on petrol and diesel – the highest taxation of its kind in the world – means that many other police forces are likely to follow Hampshire in reducing manpower to save money.
Hampshire Police Federation chairman Geoff Crowe said: ‘We think the public will be disappointed to know that the biggest hit on numbers is on the front line at a time when they are expecting to see more police officers on the street, not fewer.’
Duncan Davis, chairman of Derbyshire Police Federation, said: ‘The fuel price rise will impact on operational needs and I’m sure recruitment is one of the areas they [senior managers] will be looking at.
'They could either delay taking on Community Support Officers or cancel that stream of activity entirely.’
John Gorton, transport manager for Essex Police, said: ‘The majority of forces have been going over to diesel because it is more environmentally efficient.
'But diesel prices have been going up faster than petrol so clearly it’s hitting us hard – as it is all other public services, including fire and ambulance.’
Wiltshire Police said one possibility was cutting back on car patrols to reduce mileage.
Britain’s biggest force, the Metropolitan Police, operates 6,500 vehicles which travel a total of 63million miles a year.
Its fuel bill last year was £12.2million, up from £10.7million in 2006, and it will soar further this year.
The Met buys much of its fuel in bulk at discount prices but drivers have also been directed to seek out the cheapest local garages to fill their tanks.
In one London borough alone, Bromley, the annual fuel budget for 63 cars has jumped by more than 15 per cent to an estimated £146,000.
Chief Superintendent Charles Griggs, the borough commander, said: ‘We couldn’t have predicted such a steep rise in fuel costs when we set our budget last year.
‘We use a lot of petrol, despite making extensive use of our 90 pedal cycles.’
It’s feared that an inflated fuel bill could have a knock-on effect on other police operations in the borough.
Suffolk Police Authority says escalating fuel prices are one of the main reasons for a budget overspend of nearly £500,000, which may lead to cuts in services.
Fire and ambulance services have also been hit hard by the fuel price increase, which has taken the average price of petrol to a record £1.18 a litre.
East of England Ambulance Trust, which covers Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, said it was running £900,000 above its annual fuel budget of £4.5million.
A spokesman said: ‘We have raised the matter with our commissioners and will clearly have to make savings elsewhere if we cannot secure additional funding.
'This may involve reducing the amount of money spent on overtime, and tight cost controls on purchases.’
Meanwhile, a Fire Brigades Union spokesman said: ‘There is no question that the cost of fuel is seriously eating into fire service funds.
'A typical fire brigade uses between 500 and 1,500 litres of diesel a day, not only to keep the vehicles on the road but also to power the pumps.
‘Unless the Government starts to consider emergency funding to fire brigades, there is a genuine risk that there will be cuts in services within the next year.
'No one has budgeted for these horrendous rises.’
Mike McCarthy, assistant chief fire officer for Norfolk, said: ‘We use an average of 600 litres of diesel a day for our operational fleet so any rise in fuel prices will inevitably impact on our operation.’
Last night MPs joined the call for Government action to relieve the pressure on 999 operations.
Liberal Democrat deputy leader Vince Cable said: ‘The emergency services have no choice as to which vehicles they use.
'It would not prejudice the Government’s overall financial position if some allowance were made to tide them over this difficult period.’
A Home Office spokesman said: ‘Government funding for police authorities is increasing by 2.9 per cent in 2008/09, taking the total to more than £9.2billion.
‘It is for chief constables and police authorities to decide how best to use the resources available to them.’Never approach a bull by the front, a horse from behind, or an idiot from any direction.
06-22-08, 08:19 PM #2
I can see another invasion of an oil rich country in the next year or so. Who will lead the way? I think the Europeans are hurting much more than the United States. We have to drill at home, and help stabilize the world markets by increasing output here. In the meantime... Where is my AirCar?"We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." -- George Orwell
06-23-08, 12:00 AM #3
One pound fifty per LITER?
Holy shit.I'm your huckleberry...
Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!
You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.
I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
but every girl I found was either one way or the other...
06-26-08, 01:51 PM #4
Some years ago my force had a 50 mile limit for officers in a shift so enquiries and even response jobs had to be considered against the limit to save fuel."all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" Edmund Burke.
"the world is a dangerous place place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who do not do anything about it" Albert Einstein
06-26-08, 04:17 PM #5
(='.'=) This is Bunny. Copy and paste Bunny into your
(")_(") signature to help him gain world domination.
06-27-08, 05:34 AM #6Ninja In TrainingVerified LEO
- Join Date
- Lone Star State
- Rep Power
One of the departments in my area just started a new rule. The officers have to park their car for at least 45 minutes out of every 8 hour shift. We will see how that turns out."Sometimes doing the right thing, is not doing the right thing."
07-01-08, 12:34 PM #7
07-01-08, 12:51 PM #8
if we exit our vehicles, the engine gets turned off (unless of course you're running traffic)
and no more sitting and typing reports... it is "preferred" if you go back to the dept to type things out...-=Twan007
Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.
Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.
The opinions expressed by this poster are wholly his own, and should never be construed to even remotely be in alignment with his employer. Matter of fact, the poster will deny any knowledge of any post... this message will self-destruct in 5 seconds...
07-02-08, 02:05 AM #9
07-02-08, 02:36 AM #10
Surplus in oil market but not wise to cut: Qatar
Web posted at: 6/30/2008 1:5:48
Source ::: Reuters
MADRID • Oil markets are oversupplied but it would not be wise for any OPEC exporter to tighten the taps given the risk of exacerbating prices, Qatar Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Industry, H E Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah said yesterday.
Minister's remarks came after Libya's most senior oil official said on Thursday he was studying the possibility of reducing output in response to a US threat to sue OPEC members, although he said the North African country had no concrete plans to do so for now.
"It is not wise today to cut supplies even though there is a surplus because we do not want to create a psychological problem," Abdullah bin Hamad said. "I'm not in favour of it at all. We want to try to help to ease the psychological heat."
But the Qatari minister criticised a move by US politicians to sue the Organization of the Oil Exporting Countries if the oil club did not pump an amount of oil that Washington sees sufficient.
"The Congress should look to increase exploration inside the United States," Minister said. "It is strange to ask what I should produce. It's an issue of sovereignty."
The US House of Representatives has passed a bill allowing the Justice Department to sue OPEC members for limiting oil supplies and working together to set crude prices.
The Senate has yet to vote on it and the White House has said it would veto the bill.
Attiyah said if enacted, the measure could create a problem for the US market as many producers would avoid US buyers.
"You will see a lot of oil suppliers will avoid the American market and you will create another big problem."
OPEC's biggest exporter Saudi Arabia has announced plans to hike output to 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) - the fastest pace in decades - but some consumer economies blame the oil exporter group for doing too little to combat the rally.
Oil producers have to consider their reservoirs' productivity for the long run and not only supply and demand factors as they manage production levels, said Abdullah bin Hamad.
"Sometimes I have to think carefully in terms of reservoir management. I do not want to damage all the reservoirs. We produce to satisfy the whole world but not at the cost of our reserves," he said.
Record oil prices are putting pressure on the global economy, saddling companies and consumers around the world with higher energy costs and triggering protests from farmers in Spain to students in Nepal.
Attiyah said oil prices were detached from market fundamentals.
"There is no coordination between supplies and the oil price. We believe that the market is not facing any shortage of supplies at the moment. There are some cargoes in floating storage. More crude will not benefit the market.
"I never get a call from my customers asking for more supply but we always hear concerns about high oil prices. This shows there is no correlation between the oil price and supplies"We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." -- George Orwell
07-02-08, 03:02 AM #11
Heard this on 880 news today:
WCBS NEWSRADIO 880
Posted: Tuesday, 01 July 2008 8:10AM
Fewer Patrols on Two Long Island Highways
HAUPPAUGE, NY (AP) -- There will be fewer county police officers patrolling two Long Island highways.
LISTEN: Concern Over Cutbacks
Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy says he'll redeploy 13 officers from the Highway Patrol Unit into precinct commands starting Tuesday. That is a 25 percent reduction in the Highway Patrol force.
Levy and Suffolk police Commissioner Richard Dormer say no area of the Long Island Expressway or the Sunrise Highway will be unpatrolled. The county executive says fewer patrols will cover more territory on both highways, which are state roads.
Levy had earlier warned it was the state's responsibility to patrol the roads.
They want funding from the State to pay for these patrols or just have them covered by the State Troopers.
07-03-08, 02:21 PM #12
I usually drive 130-150 miles in a 12 hour shift. I park and sit still just watching things a lot. Some of our guys can go 250 miles or more on midnight shift. I wind up using 8 or 9 gallons per shift not counting the 2 or 3 gallons it takes to go back and forth to home.
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