Stoke & Staffordshire

Staffordshire Police encouraged to use buses and trains

Staffordshire Police officers are to be encouraged to use public transport as the force looks to save money.

It faces a budget cut of £38.7m over four years but said earlier this month that job cuts had so far created an £8m surplus.

Last year it was revealed almost 800 jobs could go by 2015.

A spokesman said talks would be held with bus and train companies to formalise plans for officers to use transport for free.

Officers would not use it to respond to crime, they added.

'Extra option'

"Historically, some local arrangements have existed in parts of Staffordshire to allow police officers to use public transport free of charge.

"As part of our transport review, we'll be speaking to bus and train companies across the county with the aim of formalising and extending this.

"The benefits of such a practice - which is used by other forces elsewhere - are obvious. As well as reducing reliance on force vehicles, it will increase officers and PCSOs visibility and provide reassurance for other passengers.

"There's no question of officers using public transport to respond to crime - it's simply an extra option for when they attend appointments or are out and about on patrol."

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