Scottish Labour’s ‘man’ in the BBC reveals only 0.06% of police vehicles break down in typical day


It was the headline story for a grateful Reporting Scotland and all over the press:


Brought to you via Freedom of Information by those little ferrets at the Labour branch and disseminated seamlessly by the state broadcaster and the supporting cast in the press, a new crisis!

Here’s how the Hootsman leader, in a classic self-parody of a comment packed with fibs, from ‘Angry of Morningside’, put it:

‘New figures show 349 police cars broke down last year – almost one for every day of the year. A police car in such a poor state of repair that it could be illegal seems almost like an icon of the state of our public services. Missed NHS waiting time targets, difficulties getting a GP appointment, teacher shortages and low morale, and problems with a myriad of council services – from bin collections to social care – have become a fact of life for too many Scots. If a ramshackle police car catches fire – as one vehicle did in recent weeks – then how will the officer inside be able to come to our aid in time of need? If a car’s dodgy gearstick requires the driver to keep their hand on it at all times, it’s probably unlikely that any pursuit of a criminal will be successful.’

How bad is it?

Police Scotland has 1 663 vehicles and with 96% of them on the roads daily – 1 596. These are on the roads every day so that’s 582 540 car days in a year. There were 349 breakdowns. That’s 0.06%.

Also, readers will be delighted to see that Police Scotland’s Fleet Departments won the award for Outstanding Cost Control, at the high-profile fleet News Awards ceremony in London.



One thought on “Scottish Labour’s ‘man’ in the BBC reveals only 0.06% of police vehicles break down in typical day

  1. Finnmacollie April 14, 2019 / 12:24 pm

    I retired after 30 years in the police, before the Scottish Parliament reconvened and assumed full responsibility for the service. And guess what. Without any input whatsoever from the SNP, police cars still broke down and were off the road for a variety of reasons – accidents, prisoners vomiting (or worse) in them requiring specialist cleaning, and even routine servicing – and there were always a few spare cars kept in reserve for just such eventualities. By the very nature of the work, many of these cars are on the road 24/7.

    At the time AIDS came to the fore and there was still much ignorance and paranoia around the subject, we were advised – if we had lifted somebody with the condition and transported them in a police vehicle – to put the car off the road and have it fumigated. (cells received the same treatment). Sounds inhuman now, but at the time the hysteria was more infectious than AIDS.

    I don’t know if things have improved, deteriorated or remained the same since then – it alternated between Labour and Tories in charge and FOI wasn’t a thing at that time.

    It’s no so long ago that they ran another story about high mileage and old (4years) police cars being a danger. This story was carried just a few days, if memory serves, after a story praising a taxi driver whose vehicle had completed over 1 million miles. Mind you to be fair the taxi was not owned by Police Scotland and the SNP had no responsibility for its operation.


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