Mis-fuelling of motor vehicles

Nick Panchaud made this Freedom of Information request to Cambridgeshire Constabulary

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear Cambridgeshire Constabulary,

Mis-filling of motor vehicles with the wrong fuel is a major issue in the UK with the costs of doing so ranging from £300 for a simple drain and flush through of the tank to over £5000 for those unfortunate enough to irreparably damage their engine. The AA has estimated that 150,000 such events occur each year. In addition, there is a heavy cost in terms of missed appointments and inconvenience.

Q1. Please provide the number of diesel vehicles currently operated by the Police department and the number of occasions any of these vehicles has been misfilled with petrol requiring unscheduled servicing during each of the last two years.

Q2. Please provide the total direct cost associated with the mis-fuelling events.

Q3. If the motor vehicles are owned/maintained by a leasing company please provide the name of the leasing company.

Yours faithfully,

Nick Panchaud

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All our responses are published on our Disclosure Log and requestors should navigate to https://www.cambs-police.co.uk/about/foi... to locate their response. Responses are published within 10 working days of their issue."
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Regards
Alex - WhatDoTheyKnow volunteer

Cambridgeshire Constabulary

1 Attachment

Dear Nick

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST REFERENCE NO: 0439/2010

In reply to your request for information under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000, dated 15/09/2010 that was received by us on 16/09/2010

Your request was received as:
Dear Cambridgeshire Constabulary,

Mis-filling of motor vehicles with the wrong fuel is a major issue in the
UK with the costs of doing so ranging from **300 for a simple drain and
flush through of the tank to over **5000 for those unfortunate enough to
irreparably damage their engine. The AA has estimated that 150,000 such
events occur each year. In addition, there is a heavy cost in terms of
missed appointments and inconvenience.

Q1. Please provide the number of diesel vehicles currently operated by the
Police department and the number of occasions any of these vehicles has
been misfilled with petrol requiring unscheduled servicing during each of
the last two years.

Q2. Please provide the total direct cost associated with the mis-fuelling
events.

Q3. If the motor vehicles are owned/maintained by a leasing company please
provide the name of the leasing company.

Question 2
Section 12(1) of the Freedom of Information Act states that a public
authority is not obliged to comply with a request for information if the
authority estimates that the cost of complying with the request would
exceed the ***appropriate limit***. For Police forces in the UK, the
"appropriate limit" is considered to be up to 18 hours of work on one
request. This information is given in the Freedom of Information (Fees and
Appropriate Limit) Regulations 2004.

It is estimated that it will take around 60 hours to extract the data to
answer this request. This is because we would have to manually search
through our service records for vehicles allocated to our Cambridge
workshop. There are 182 vehicles allocated to this workshop and they are a
mixture of roads policing and other vehicles. On average each vehicle will
visit the workshop twice in a year and you have asked for two years worth
of data. This amounts to 182 x 2 services x 2 years or 728 service records
to be reviewed. If it takes 5 minutes to locate, review and record
information to answer this request it will take: 728 x 5 minutes = 3640
minutes to process the data for the vehicles allocated to the Cambridge
workshop. The

Under Section 16(1) of the FOI Act a public authority is obliged to offer
advice and assistance to a requester. This is especially true with
requests like this where we are unable to provide the information
requested. In this case if we reduced the time period to six months it
will take an estimated 182 x 5 minutes = 910 minutes but we would then
need to add on additional time to research answers for the remainder of
our fleet together with answers to the other questions you asked and this
would take us above the 18 hours of work.

Although excess cost removes the force***s obligation under the Freedom of
Information Act, as a gesture of goodwill, I have supplied information
below, relative to your request, that was retrieved before it was realised
that the fees limit would be exceeded. I trust this is helpful, but it
does not affect our legal right to rely on the fees regulations for the
remainder of the request.

Q1. The total number of diesel vehicles in our fleet is 443. I can add
that mis-fuelling is no longer the problem it was when we were gradually
migrating to diesel and that process is now virtually complete.

Q3. The motor vehicles are not owned / maintained by a leasing company.

If you wish to appeal our decisions, please see the attachment below,
which sets out your rights to appeal.

(See attached file: Complaint Rights new.nov - 09.pdf)

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please
contact the Information Access Office on telephone number 0345 456 456 4
extension 8163.

Regards
Alec Taylor
Information Access Office
Cambridgeshire Constabulary

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