POLICE in Gloucestershire have added seven electric cars to their fleet – and police and crime commissioner Martin Surl hopes more will follow.

Gloucestershire Police have obtained 7 Nissan Leafs after conducting tests on a number of electric vehicle models to check their viability

Three will serve marked cars for use in urban areas, while the other four will be unmarked for use in other operations.

Mr Surl said: “The police are big car users with the vast majority of its fleet currently running on diesel engines.

“Since the Volkswagen emissions scandal, we know that diesels are not as good for the environment as we thought and I believe the police can and should make an important contribution to reducing emissions by using cleaner vehicles.

“Already Gloucestershire is taking a lead by becoming the only force in the UK to hold ISO 14001 accreditation, which gives advice on how to measure consumption and reduce waste.

“I see no reason why other forces in the country shouldn't follow our example.”

Gloucestershire Police currently has 412 vehicles with 89.32 per cent running on diesel and the remaining 10.68 per cent on petrol.

By the end of the year, the commissioner expects the force to conduct an audit of its environmental footprint.

Electrification of the police fleet will continue where operationally viable and emissions will be an increasing element in the decision making process - alongside cost and performance - when vehicles are purchased.

“If it is shown beyond all reasonable doubt that the use of diesel as the primary fuel is damaging to the health of Gloucestershire I will actively seek alternatives even if the financial cost is higher”, said Mr Surl.

“And I will not allow the constabulary to purchase or lease any vehicle where the manufacturer has been shown to deceive the public over emissions.”

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