Reduction in Emissions at Surrey Police

Mohammad Rafique

By Mohammad Rafique Energy & Environment Officer at Surrey Police

Surrey Police is the territorial police force responsible for policing the county of Surrey in South East England. Over 3,700 employees operate from 69 different buildings, and the Surrey and Sussex Police have a combined fleet of over 2,200 vehicles. Our core activities have significant impacts on the environment, and we are fully committed to improving our environmental performance in order to reduce these impacts. 

Surrey and Sussex Police recently signed up to a joint environmental policy to deliver the forces’ environmental objective to promote efficient use of energy in all of our sites and implement energy efficiency measures through an effective management system where practical. We are developing an energy and environmental management system to manage our impacts.

We set up baseline emissions in 2015-16 to monitor the next 5 years target performance.  The Surrey Police environmental KPIs are added into the force’s overall performance KPIs and performances will be reported on a monthly basis.

  • % CO2e reduction from building-related emission
  • % CO2e reduction from transport-related emission

In 2015-16, the Surrey policing operations resulted in over 9,500 tonnes of CO2e emissions. Our target is to reduce 15% of building and transport-related carbon emissions by 2021-22 from the 2015-16 baseline.

The Surrey Police adopted the below hierarchy to achieve the emission reduction target. 

Over 30 projects have been delivered to reduce building and transport-related emissions so far and we have a number of projects in progress to establish robust energy monitoring, controls and efficiency:

  • Building Energy Management systems upgrade to control heating, cooling and ventilation efficiently;
  • Energy sub-metering at electrical distribution board level to avoid unnecessary usage;
  • Low energy LED lightings and control;
  • Automatic air-conditioning control with timer and occupancy, window/door open sensor;
  • Hot water demand sensor installation;
  • Efficient burner replacement and control management;
  • Dynamic burner management;
  • Efficient chiller replacement;
  • Solar PV installation.

The Police Fleet Review highlighted the potential opportunities to reduce carbon emissions of the owned fleet, whilst at the same time reducing the total costs of transport across the force.

To support the aims and objectives of the Environmental and Carbon Reduction Strategy and the Local Policing Plan, the force seeks to minimise the use of vehicles with high C02 emissions. Purchases of new vehicles with a level of CO2 emissions over 226 g/km will only be made where there is a compelling operational requirement approved by the Deputy Chief Constable and Director of Finance or their nominated representatives, prior to submission to the Joint Transport Board (JTB).

The ongoing level of fleet emissions is measured against the target of 0.375 g/km set by the Local Policing Plan.  A revised plan for a 10% reduction in this target has been agreed and will form part of the KPIs of the Joint Transport Service (JTS), which is currently being implemented.

The Head of Transport who is leading the Joint Transport Service (JTS) seeks to incorporate environmental best practice in all forms of transportation used by both forces. To this end, extensive evaluations of electric and hydrogen-fuelled low emission vehicles are being carried out across both forces in conjunction with the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) to introduce Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles (ULEV) vehicles where it is cost-effective and operationally prudent to do so.

As part of the Environmental and Carbon Reduction Strategy, 60 unmarked fully electric vehicles are deployed across the force, replacing existing diesel-fuelled vehicles, which had already been identified for replacement during the 2018/19 financial year. The new vehicles will be used for non-response purposes on division and in departmental roles. Furthermore, as response purpose, the Surrey and Sussex Police will be trialling 2 hydrogen vehicles in early February 2019, one at East Surrey and one at Gatwick.

Taking this innovative step towards cutting our carbon footprint, by introducing a more energy-efficient fleet of vehicles, will not only help to save money but will also be better for our environment, reducing our CO2 emissions by an estimated 470 tonnes over the next five years. It is estimated that this change alone will initially save up to £120,000 for each force over five years, just from the reduced fuel, servicing, maintenance and repair costs.

Key to the procurement of the BMW i3s was the fact that they can be driven for over 100 miles between charges, which means they could be used on day-to-day front-line policing activities, such as being used by officers visiting victims or witnesses to take statements as part of door-to-door inquiries or by crews on short patrols. The ability to use the onboard “range extending” facility to charge the battery means that this range can be extended by a further 100 miles, thus enabling them to be multi-tasked when required. 

Both Surrey and Sussex Police are using the initial investment in i3s to establish ULEVs in the fleet, whilst looking for opportunities to increase the numbers over the coming years. 

A charging infrastructure partner installed 70 charge points at 19 police sites across Surrey and Sussex under the Central Southern Regional Framework. This framework, run by Hampshire County Council, gives local authorities and other public bodies in the South of England the ability to procure and install charge points rapidly, without running their own tendering exercises.  It also ensures a uniform public charging network across the region, both in terms of products used and interoperability. The installed charge points use standard fast charging units capable of charging up to 22kW (approx. 3 hours for a full charge).  

The two police schemes in Sussex and Surrey operate as a closed charging network – meaning only police can use these, with access controlled by Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) cards. The monitoring portal allows the police full visibility of charge point usage and running costs.  The running cost, if charged overnight, can be as low as 2p/mile, compared to 11-19p/mile for petrol or diesel vehicles, giving the police substantially reduced running costs from the purchase of their new electric vehicle fleet.

Our fleet Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software solution and the incoming Telematics solution will, for the first time, provide dynamic and accurate information to the driver, and monthly statistics on fuel consumption, mileage and CO2 emissions to fleet management.  Therefore, the end users will now have direct access to this information and can monitor their progress toward their own target of a 10% reduction in annual emissions, for a given level of mileage operated.

In an attempt to reduce our CO2 emissions further, without affecting the front-line services, we also trialled a 5% bio-diesel fuel mix at one of our sites. Whilst the trial proved successful, it has been decided not to roll out the initiative, due to the conflicting guidance given from vehicle manufacturers and the current levels of biofuel already in diesel.  When a clear position emerges on whether to roll out the product across the force, it will be considered by the Joint Transport Board.

The emerging electric vehicle technology remains an option for police forces, however, despite the reduced capital cost, fully electric powered cars rely heavily on infrastructure investment.  ULEVs are becoming increasingly available, but still, suffer from the following disadvantages:

  • Lower power output compared to conventional engines;
  • Poor handling, due to weight distribution – hybrids tend to be front wheel drive, with batteries at the rear;
  • Higher capital cost;
  • Higher and more specialist maintenance costs due to design;
  • Heavier than conventional cars, therefore tyre and brake wear rates are higher;
  • Challenging to multi-task.

Our JTS management keeps a watchful eye on this ever-changing area of clean air zones, potential reductions in cost and emissions, and will take advantage of grants etc. to introduce such technology when cost effective and importantly sustainable. The outcome of these evaluations is helping to formulate an evolving vehicle strategy that could see:

  • At least 10% (approx. 200 vehicles) of the operational fleet being low or zero emission vehicles by 2020;
  • Introduction of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2020;
  • New response vehicles being low emission vehicles from 2025;
  • The phasing out of diesel by 2030;
  • The entire fleet being zero emission by 2050.

Author’s profile:

Mohammad has been working for Surrey Police since July 2016. He is responsible for energy efficiency and emissions reduction strategy for the force. He is leading on the development of Energy and Environmental Management System following ISO guidelines and has a previous 3 years of experience on ISO certified Environmental Management System in the Royal Mail. 

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