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News Archive > General > Cutbacks see force appeal for public help to drive police cars

Cutbacks see force appeal for public help to drive police cars

By Alban Macleod 4th November 2009

Cutbacks have led Newquay police to recruit members of the public as personal taxi drivers for officers in a new scheme to be rolled out across Cornwall.
Under the new initiative, volunteers are being sought to taxi officers around Newquay as well as to locations such as Truro, Bodmin, St Austell and Camborne.
 The volunteers will drive unmarked police cars to ferry the officers around, freeing up police vehicles for dealing with front-line policing.
After only a basic 20-minute driving assessment and vetting process anyone over the age of 18 can volunteer to drive a police officer around as a member of the Police Volunteer Programmes.
The police admit that the scheme is a creative solution to police cutbacks which have led to a shortage of their unmarked vehicles being available.
By using a ‘taxi’ service  police officers can be dropped off and collected later, leaving the vehicle free for other use.
Inspector Dave Meredith said: “This is a good thing for us as it makes full use of our vehicles and stops them being parked up for hours outside council buildings. I would like to emphasise this is only for prearranged locations such as council meetings or to visit a victim’s house to take a statement.”
Every police department will be using the taxi service from neighbourhood police officers to the domestic violence team which means volunteer drivers may get a good insight into the local crime scene.
Insp. Meredith added: “There will be no pledge of secrecy to sign but basic data protection issues will be covered in the vetting process.”
The police are very keen to get the scheme running as soon as possible and are relying on the public to contact them.
 “Cutbacks have affected our vehicle fleet which in turn impacts on the efficiency of our station. We are encouraging people to come forward as soon as possible so we can get this up and running,” said Insp. Meredith.
The scheme will be most suited to anyone who is not in full time employment as drivers will be needed for both the day and night shifts.
Newquay police are only thinking of recruiting drivers for the time being but there is a possibility that it may expand into other rolls.
If you are interested please contact Sgt Bob Murray on 01637 854572.

By Alban Macleod 4th November 2009

jason 8th November 2009 13:02
I can´t believe what I am reading in this article.
This is the type of shambolic policing policy that now typifies the UK police force. Criminals laugh at the police and the justice system, and as soon as the country realizes this, the better. By the way before anyone comments from the PC brigade hold your breaths. To bring respect back to the police, give every police office a firearm, cars that are big and intimidating, and the powers to use all force to restrain and apprehend felons/suspects. And before any of you comment it will turn the UK into the Wild West - ask yourself why does every police force in Europe have firearms? The police are meant to be upholders of law not someone who you ask for directions and this is the latest cost cutting measure that is somewhat embarrassing!
Dave Maullin 9th November 2009 10:15
Instead of asking for handouts why are the Police not fighting their corner re cutbacks, we already pay for the service, though the use of taxis may help us sleep better as i have never understood why it is that the Ambulance service and the Fire Brigade can use their lights only whilst driving down Henver Rd at night with no traffic around and the Police have to insist on using their sirens,
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