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.