Police cars broke down 345 times in one year

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Sussex police officers are having to rely on break-down recovery teams to keep them on the road after suffering hundreds of breakdowns in the space of a year.

Figures show that Sussex Police had to make 345 emergency recovery call-outs during 2012.

Recovery teams were called out once a day on average.

Police blame the high call-out figures on the intensive round-the clock use of police vehicles and said that vehicles being vandalised was also causing problems for the force.

The call-outs rose from 2011, which saw 328 incidents in 2011 but fell from 2010 which saw a staggering 751 emergency recovery call-outs.

Recovery teams responded to a wide range of affected vehicles including Hyundai Getz, Fiat Puntos and Ford Focuses to more high end vehicles such as Land Rover Defenders, BMW 330s and Lexus IS 250s.

Sussex Police’s fleet of vehicles covers between 14 and 15 million miles a year.

A Sussex Police spokesman said breakdown call-outs had no adverse affects on operational cover or the force’s ability to protect the public.

He said: “The figures, which have reduced by nearly a half from two years ago, do not relate solely to police vehicle breakdowns.

“They include a wide variety of other incidents such as accidental damage.”