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Police fleet boss addresses US conference

Source: Public Sector Executive Sept/Oct 2012

North Yorkshire Police’s head of transport Richard Flint, who chairs the National Association of Police Fleet Managers (NAPFM), spoke to a major American fleet conference to share UK best practice.

North Yorkshire Police’s fleet management expertise was highlighted in the United States at a major conference in August.

Richard Flint, who heads the force’s transport operations and chairs the National Association of Police Fleet Managers (NAPFM), addressed 700 delegates at the North American Fleet Managers’ conference in Charlotte, North Carolina, between 13 and 16 August.

Flint, who we interviewed in the July/August edition of PSE, explained to the US audience how his work which has improved efficiency and helped to reduce carbon emissions by switching to diesel vehicles across the North Yorkshire Police fleet.

It was the first time a UK police fleet manager has been invited to attend or present at such an event.

Flint said it was “a unique opportunity to share best practice on a global scale and at the same time, bring innovation and ideas back to the UK”.

He added: “North Yorkshire Police is responsible for patrolling the largest single county in the country, covering some 6,000 miles of roads. Delivering a high quality police service while at the same time as saving on fuel costs is absolutely essential in the current economic climate.

“We have made great strides to improve our efficiency, but we cannot sit still. We must take every opportunity to continually improve and develop our practices, ensuring that we are doing everything we can to get the best value out of every penny we spend.”

Flint recently collected the Fleet News ‘Fleet of the Year Award’ and was also shortlisted for the Fleet Manager of the Year Award after overseeing a streamlining of North Yorkshire Police’s transport arrangements, which has helped to save money and reduce carbon emissions.

A regionalised vehicle purchasing agreement is set to save £1.25m over the next four years, while a reduction in fuel consumption of 75,000 litres between January and August 2011 resulted in a saving of £84,000.

The force has also introduced a 100% diesel policy and downsized, where appropriate, all frontline operational vehicles to help reduce carbon emissions.

The fleet has been reduced in size and the most costeffective vehicles possible are now being used, using a whole life costing system.

Further savings are being made by using recycled parts for vehicle repairs and a new pool car booking system has reduced hire car costs by £3,000 per month.

A new regional link up with other forces in the Yorkshire and Humber region is also set to save £7m over the next four years, by sharing resources and services between the four regional forces.

Flint explained to PSE how outsourcing was changing the very nature of emergency services fleet management. He said: “There’s more and more pressure gaining on all of us to collaborate with other forces and also other emergency service partners.”

That was among the topics discussed at the NAPFM Conference and Exhibition 2012, which took place from September 25-26 at the Peterborough Arena.

Nearly 140 exhibitors showed off a vast range of vehicles and equipment, including bikes, boats, horseboxes and armoured vehicles, alongside hydrogen-powered ambulances, electric scooters and specialist dog vans.

The 39th NAPFM Conference was held in conjunction with the National Strategic Ambulance Fleet Group Meeting and Blue Light Fleet Exhibition, which will take place next year at Telford International Centre on June 4 and 5.

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