Police officers driving around the South West can save their force money while boosting its eco-credentials, thanks to a new agreement between five police forces in the region.

The agreement, tabled by Martin Surl, Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, will see officers from Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Avon and Somerset, Dorset, and Devon and Cornwall able to use any police-owned electric car charging point in the region without charge, when travelling on police duty.

It means that in the future, officers and staff travelling to neighbouring counties for court cases, meetings and training can legitimately use one of the Force’s electric vehicles, rather than a car which runs on diesel or petrol. This change for distance travel will help to save forces money in fuel costs and will help to reduce carbon footprints by eliminating emissions completely for certain journeys.

The initiative was tabled by Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Martin Surl at a South West strategic meeting. The discussion involved the Chief Constables and PCCs of Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Dorset, Avon and Somerset, and Devon and Cornwall Police. This agreement is part of Mr Surl’s commitment to ‘A Green and Pleasant County’, outlined in his Police and Crime plan for Gloucestershire.

Mr Surl said: “I’m pleased that this agreement has been secured between the five forces in the South West region.

“Gloucestershire Constabulary is the only force in the country to hold a certification for its commitment to reducing waste and pollution*, and as our electric fleet grows it is important we can support those vehicles to be used on longer journeys. This agreement will save both money and the planet, and is just the latest in my commitment to maintaining ‘A Green and Pleasant County’ in Gloucestershire.”

All five of the South West forces will start by mapping the location and type of charging points held across their Force area, and have committed to ensuring that there will be no financial cost to use charging points in other areas for at least two years.

Before the scheme can be implemented across the South West, logistical challenges must be addressed, including:

  • Developing future infrastructure to enable ‘interoperability’ across the region and beyond.
  • Committing to plans for ‘easy access’ to charging facilities, when many police charging points are based within secure estates.

Those present at the regional meeting committed to working together to share good practice in relation to carbon reduction, with a view to develop a regional sustainability strategy for the South West.