GMP make £3.5 million investment in new police cars
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GMP is investing £3.5 million to buy 164 new beat cars and increase driver training for advanced operations.
Spending on crucial infrastructure is a key pledge of GMP's new working model - the Plan on a Page - introduced by new Chief Constable Stephen Watson.
It commits the force to a back-to-basics set of actions to ensure GMP can deliver the service that the people of Greater Manchester deserve.
As part of the plan, senior officers at GMP prioritised talking to front line staff about anything that was impeding the force reaching its potential - with the quality and quantity of marked vehicles being a recurring theme.
Deputy Chief Constable Terry Woods and Chief Officer Christopher Kinsella urgently commissioned work to fix the issue.
Three prospective vehicles were identified - the Toyota Corolla 1.8L petrol hybrid active, Ford Focus Zetec 1.0L eco boost petrol-hybrid and the Hyundai i30 1.0L turbo mild-hybrid.
Recognising the importance of our frontline officers' opinions, a series of road tests of the vehicles was organised by Inspector Danny Kabal - supported by various departments including response, fleet, training and the Federation.
A number of Police Constables - who will be among the main users of the cars - graded the vehicles on exterior and interior, steering, braking, acceleration and deceleration, gearbox, safety features, handling, comfort and storage.
Consideration was also given to environmental factors such as fuel consumption and emissions to help reduce the carbon footprint of our fleet - another key pledge of the Plan on a Page.
The Corolla and Focus received very similar scores and an order for 164 new beat cars - split evenly between the Ford and Toyota - has been placed after a £3.5 million funding bid was agreed by the Deputy Mayor.
The money will also pay for more drivers to be trained more quickly.
Deputy Mayor for policing, crime, criminal justice and fire, Bev Hughes, said: "This is a significant investment but one that is extremely important in making sure front line officers are well equipped to respond to incidents and emergencies effectively and safely."
DCC Terry Woods said: “Investing in and improving our Fleet provision is clearly identified in our Plan on a Page and this represents a quick and significant investment to get people the right tools to get the job done.
"Involving officers and support services more fully in projects such as this will help make sure we are providing our staff with the most effective kit and equipment to enable them to do their jobs. Thank you to all those who organised or took part in the test day, which gave us valuable insights and opinions and influenced the final choice of vehicle".
Neil Clarke, Deputy Secretary of Greater Manchester Police Federation, said: “The Force wide review of vehicles used by our members on Districts is welcome, as is the considered engagement process the force implemented in reviewing the vehicles.
"Our members will use these vehicles on a daily basis and it is important that they were given the opportunity to review them from an operational perspective and afforded the opportunity to provide honest constructive feedback. This has assisted in identifying vehicles which are fit for purpose and will provide greater resilience across the fleet, the feedback from all the staff who took part has been really positive."