If you mention Yorkshire and police in the same sentence, you cannot help but think of Heartbeat and a downy-cheeked Nick Berry in 1960’s helmet and elbow-lengthed gloves hot-footing it up to the moors, fresh out of Walford and away from Aunty Pauline’s clutches. You certainly do not think of multi-tasking police forces joining together to save millions of pounds on fleet management and van insurance.
But that’s the story coming out of Yorkshire and Humberside as North, South and West Yorkshire forces have joined up with their east coast neighbours to put their four heads of transport together to combine in one super-pool of fleet resources. Originally destined to be a cost saving exercise in an attempt to knock £10M off their public expenditure, the venture is proving to be so much more.
Of course there are the better deals from the carrot that a larger fleet can dangle to brokers, now offering the cheapest van insurance possible to secure that extra volume of business. But a larger pool of talent has availed the forces of greater possibilities for future savings as much of the maintenance and vehicle modification can be carried out in-house.
The money the forces are saving from utilising inhouse mechanics and even using their own qualified staff to teach junior police officers advanced training skills will be put to use in other areas across the collaborative forces. For the sectors that cannot be controlled by the police themselves, such as van insurance, the forces are sharing the burden of those costs and redistributing the savings the same way as they are funds from other areas.
Another aspect to arise from this scenario is that all four forces now have standard vehicles, meaning that skills specific to that model can be honed to the nth degree and spare parts can be ordered in bulk to alleviate the risk of ever struggling to find the components to keep the fleet roadworthy, another aspect that van insurance brokers take into account when assessing the discounts applicable to an applicant’s request for van cover.
The West Yorkshire Police Commissioning Department in Bradford has been chosen as the nerve centre due to its accessibility by all four constabularies; the train of though here is that, by concentrating their efforts from one central location, it will lead to quicker mean response times across all four counties.
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