Electric vehicles not suitable for police response says PCC

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Chris Nelson
Image caption,
The previous PCC was keen to expand the force's e-fleet, but Chris Nelson said he would be cautious about going any further down that road

A police force using electric vehicles is struggling to respond to crime because the batteries keep going flat, a Police and Crime Commissioner said.

Gloucestershire Constabulary has the largest full electric fleet in the UK, making up 21% of their 435 vehicles.

PCC Chris Nelson said officers who drove electric vehicles had experienced problems finding recharging facilities in the county.

He said the vehicles "run out of puff", and staff needed to change police cars.

Mr Nelson, who was speaking in a recent police and crime panel, said he was concerned about the operational impact electric vehicles were having on the force.

It was in response to a question from councillor Steve Robinson (L, Nailsworth) about whether he supported the use of electric cars, the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) said.

Mr Nelson said while "we've all got to go towards electric vehicles moving forwards," the force has the largest fleet by percentage size and "that has brought its problems".

"The design options available for electric vehicles for operational uses are not perhaps as advanced as I would like them to be."

He added that he was "cautious about going any further down that road at this stage".

The PCC said when an officer was in a rural area with their lights, radio and car heater on, "I wouldn't want them to run out of power, simply because he or she is in an electric car".

He said he fully supported climate controls and green areas, but his priority was to fight crime and so more operational choice over vehicles was needed.

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