Nottinghamshire Police could have adverts on cars to raise money

Adverts could be allowed on police stations and patrol cars to raise money, a chief constable has suggested.

Nottinghamshire's chief Chris Eyre told the Nottingham Post private firms could pay for sponsorship or adverts to help counter budget cuts.

His remarks were made as the police and crime commissioner Paddy Tipping announced £12.7m was needed to balance the county's budget.

However, Mr Tipping said he was "sceptical" about vehicle advertising.

Mr Eyre said using company logos on police cars, advertising hoardings and adverts on the force's website were all options being looked at.

He said if the move was made official, deals would be considered on a "case-by-case basis" and the changes could help protect funding and maintain police performance.

'Extremely careful'

Mr Tipping said as government grants were being cut, every force had to find alternative ways of bringing in money.

"I support getting some money in and in the budget we are looking to raise £1m from increasing charges and sponsorship," he said.

"I'm personally a bit sceptical about sponsoring police cars but every avenue to raise extra money is being looked at. If we can raise the money it saves us cutting the budget.

"We need to be extremely careful about this [adverts]. We don't want the police to be beholden... to anybody."

He has proposed a 1.96% increase in the police's council tax precept, the closure of more station counters and the closure of Mansfield Woodhouse police station altogether.

He said he was also hoping to recruit an extra 120 police officers and 70 police community support officers in the next year.

Phil Matthews, head of the Nottinghamshire branch of the Police Federation, said: "A few years ago we would have been horrified by the idea of advertising on police cars.

"But there is the acceptance that the money is not going to be there and if we can have this funding from a sponsor, we can keep going."

A Home Office spokesperson said: "The police have been able to accept sponsorship for a number of years.

"It is a matter for PCCs and chief constables to determine what is appropriate in their area."

A crime author donated a car carrying his advert to Sussex Police in 2008.

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