Dorset police commissioner floats corporate sponsorship of vehicles & stations

Police cars patrolling the streets emblazoned with McDonald’s logos or Coca-Cola branding could soon be a common site after a police commissioner floated the prospect of securing additional funding via corporate sponsorship of stations and vehicles.

Martyn Underhill, police and crime commissioner for Dorset, said such drastic actions were required in a time of austerity to shore up badly depleted budgets saying: “You can’t keep asking the public for money – why can’t I go into a structured five-year sponsorship deal with a reputable company and actually put police officers on the street?"

Police forces across England & Wales face budget cuts of as much as 20 per cent by 2015 but rules allow them to source as much as 1 per cent of their budgets from private firms either via sponsorship or the gift of cars and equipment.

Brighton & Hove became the first force to benefit from a sponsored car after crime writer Peter James donated the vehicle in 2008 in return for being granted access to the force at work but the Metropolitan Police are the biggest beneficiaries – raking in £23m in sponsorship between April 2007 and March 2012.

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