Police force quizzed over £850k car fleet

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson MSP
Justice Secretary Michael Matheson MSP

Police Scotland is facing questions from Justice Secretary Michael Matheson about its fleet of luxury cars - including BMWs and Land Rovers - for senior officers and staff.

The Sunday Herald reported that Mr Matheson met privately with Chief Constable Sir Stephen House to express his concerns over the private fleet, which can be accessed by 31 senior officers and staff and is worth more than £850,000.

A source told the newspaper that Mr House did not appreciate the intervention.

The national police service is currently under serious financial pressure and is struggling to close a £11 million funding gap this year.

However, a range of high-end vehicles have been allocated to certain officers and directors, whose partners are reportedly also insured to drive them.

Gerry Crawley, a regional organiser at the Unison trade union, said: “The priority for Police Scotland must be jobs, not cars.

“If Unison support staff can take a bus or a train to work or drive their own car, then it is surely not too much to ask a senior manager to do the same when the cuts to policing are so severe.”

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Police Scotland insisted “all areas of the budget” were under review.

He said: “In year one of Police Scotland, £68 million had to be saved from our budget, in year two it was a further £64 million.

“We achieved those savings. In year three we need to find £54 million and as such all areas of the budget are being reviewed including the provision of vehicles.”

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