HL Deb 09 December 1999 vol 607 cc101-2WA
Earl Attlee

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they believe it is proper for police forces to seek to have their own vehicles recovered free on the back of a commercially managed call-out system; and whether or not this practice would tend to increase the cost of recovery services to the public. [HL164]

Lord Bassam of Brighton

Police powers to arrange for the removal of vehicles from the highway are contained in the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and the Removal of Vehicles Regulations 1986. Under this legislation the precise arrangements adopted by police forces for the safe recovery of vehicles, including the terms and conditions of individual contracts entered into by the police and contractors to carry out the work, are an operational matter for individual chief officers of police.

Police vehicle recovery contracts vary from force to force, but the norm is for police forces to pay a commercial rate for the recovery of their own vehicles. A few police forces may have negotiated free recovery but there is no evidence to suggest this would increase the cost of recovery services to the public because most police vehicle removals are effected by the use of police powers and thus attract the prescribed statutory fee.